Review: David Treuer shares his Ojibwe-Jewish history in 'Rez Life'
Posted: Monday, July 9, 2012
"American Indian reservations account for 2.3 percent of the country’s land. Indian gambling revenues are $14 billion annually, and male life expectancy among Indians is 64 years. Acoma Pueblo has been continuously occupied since the 12th century. The Cherokee owned black slaves until Emancipation. And in 1780, Frederick the Great released “a great number of sturgeons in Lake Gardno in Pomerania.” These are among the varied and variously relevant facts strewn throughout Treuer’s survey of life on American reservations. The details about sturgeon aren’t entirely random — they relate, however tangentially, to Treuer’s discussion of treaty rights and the battle to control the waterways of the upper Midwest. But it’s an example of the kind of fat that slows this otherwise admirable amalgam of history, memoir and polemic, and that heightens the frustration when Treuer gives short shrift to his most interesting subject — his family."
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Nonfiction Chronicle: REZ LIFE [third item]
(The New York Times 7/8)
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