If you aren’t aware of the New Books Network, you should be. It is a wonderful series of podcasts in which authors engage in thoughtful and informed conversation about their recent books with interviewers who have actually read the book their discussing!
I’ve been a big fan for years. So imagine my delight when Andrew Bard Epstein invited me to be a guest. Last week we had a great conversation and today, he published the interview. Here is Andrew’s teaser:
If George Armstrong Custer had kept off of Greasy Grass that June day in 1875, Vine Deloria, Jr.’s manifesto might well have been called “Canby Died For Your Sins.”
The highest ranking U.S. military official to be killed in the so-called “Indian Wars,” General Edward Canby’s death at the hands of Modoc fighters in 1873 unleashed a campaign of ethnic cleansing and guerrilla resistance later colloquialized as the Modoc War. An international sensation at the time and iconic in the decades following, the Klamath Basin struggle has been largely overshadowed in contemporary historical memory.
In his razor-sharp account Remembering the Modoc War: Redemptive Violence and the Making of American Innocence (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), historian Boyd Cothran not only reconstructs this dramatic story but traces how various actors–pushed and pulled by the demands of an acquisitive capitalist market–transformed the memory of the war into a redemptive tale of American innocence, a recasting of colonial violence that still shapes U.S. self-perceptions today.
You can listen to the whole interview below and you can check out other interviews on New Books in Native American Studies!