PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... remarkable ... Murdoch resists easy portraiture and blind compassion...Murdoch doesn’t sell out Yellow Bird or the people of Fort Berthold, and she doesn’t gloss over their problems either. Rather, she finds a way to balance her journalistic curiosity with respect for these complicated people ... I couldn’t help noticing the irony of tuning in to the fate of a non-Native man, killed by non-Native people on an Indian reservation. Maybe irony isn’t the best word. Political and social sadness might be better ... her tight focus on Yellow Bird and her quest precludes a full exploration of missing and murdered Indigenous women. I wish it hadn’t. Likewise, I thought Clarke’s murder and Yellow Bird’s determination to find an answer would be a way to bring Fort Berthold and the Great Plains into greater relief; that the journey toward the truth of Clarke’s disappearance would become a journey toward the truth of how reservations and power and money work in our modern world. But — and I am an Ojibwe from Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota who has written a book on reservation life — I was left largely as unenlightened about Fort Berthold at the end as I was at the beginning ... That said, Yellow Bird isn’t an \'everything\' book. Nor should it be. Its strength derives not from vast panoramas but from an intimate gaze. By looking at Clarke’s murder through Yellow Bird’s eyes, we get to see the forces that shape and ultimately unite their lives ... Yellow Bird’s fanatical but dignified search brought closure to Clarke’s family and change to Fort Berthold. In her telling of the story, Murdoch brings the same fanaticism and dignity to the search for and meaning of modern Native America.
MixedThe Washington PostJoe Jackson has expertly taken Black Elk’s life and woven that together with other records and histories of him and his times. The result is that Jackson has firmly situated Black Elk in the context of Indian struggles on the plains from 1850 through 1950. He uses Black Elk to bring home the radical changes that confronted most Indians during this time and, in doing so, creates a deeply felt and personal story of loss and change on the plains ... the long set piece concerning the Battle of the Little Bighorn is among the very best I’ve ever read ... There are moments, some of them minor, when Jackson more or less colors in the story, providing details where none exist in the record ... Jackson’s book is replete with troubling language. Throughout, he refers to Indian men as 'braves' and Indian women as 'squaws,' and often calls young children 'papooses.'
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesMcEwan has always been stunningly good at exploring how intimacy is a precondition for betrayal, and that’s on display here, though not as finely wrought as in earlier work such as Amsterdam and On Chesil Beach. Also on display is McEwan’s undeniable verbal wit ... Unfortunately (for the reader and the book, if not for McEwan), the author himself (or at least his thoughts) is on display, and it doesn’t do the story any favors ... Perhaps more inexcusable are the passages of political griping ... I for the most part believed the unborn narrator. I liked his perspective. I wanted to see how it turned out.
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesIt is not often that a single work of history can change the course of an entire field and upset the received notions and received knowledge of the generations but that is exactly what The Other Slavery does ... This book is, arguably, one of the most profound contributions to North American history published since Patricia Nelson Limerick’s Legacy of Conquest and Richard White’s The Middle Ground. But it’s not necessary to be into history to understand its power: Our world is still the world Reséndez so eloquently anatomizes.
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesMasters of Empire is a master class in how to do history right. If anyone is at all interested in knowing how to 'help' Indian people, they would do no better than following McDonnell's example: trying (and succeeding) in seeing our history and our actions as representative of smart, savvy, thinking actors in our own lives. This is an astounding book.