May 27, 2007

Brown's book changed everything

Wounded Knee's ghosts ride again

A TV movie is set to reignite the debate over the fate of Native AmericansBack in 1970, when Brown's book was published, Native Americans were all but forgotten and powerless on their reservations, reduced in popular culture to stock images of whooping warriors in cowboy films or friendly farmers in Thanksgiving Day ceremonies.

Brown's book changed all that. Chapter by chapter, it chronicled the experience of individual tribes at the hands of white men. And though the characters and locations changed, the story was always the same: white treachery, the loss of Native American lands and the extermination of a culture. It has now sold more than 5 million copies. 'It had an enormous impact. It changed everything,' said Riggs.

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