From the author of Escape From Camp 14, a new account of one of the most persistent "alternative facts" in American history: the story of a missionary, a tribe, a massacre, and a myth that shaped the American West.
In this fascinating well-written exposé, Harden has done a brilliant job of not only looking at the life and legacy of Marcus Whitman but also examining the context in which his tragic death begot 'one of the great hoaxes in the history of the American West.' A lie that led directly to the ruin of the Native Americans of the Columbia River Plateau ... Harden skillfully brings to life the collision of myth and reality. He has managed to write a fittingly timely book that fits well into the post-Donald Trump era of false narratives, conspiracy theories, and cries of fake news in which a large segment of the Naïve American population was deceived into believing utter nonsense by destroying others in order to make themselves feel good about themselves.
A highlight of the book is Harden’s inclusion of current information about tribes native to the Pacific Northwest and how they are still affected by the legacy of the Whitman massacre ... Harden succeeds in bringing often-forgotten history front and center. A well-written, fast-paced account that is highly recommended to all readers.
Harden meticulously outlines how one bitter minister crafted an outlandish lie out of the Whitmans’ deaths, promoting a narrow vision of heroic white Christians destined to conquer the land, a vision that persisted into the twentieth century, echoing far beyond the Pacific Northwest.