Mankiller: A Chief and Her People

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St. Martin's Press, 1993 - Cherokee Indians - 296 pages
She was reared on Mankiller Flats, in rural Oklahoma, a time long before the modern Native American movement was born. She knew early on that she came from a proud and courageous people, even though her own family circumstances were poor. Relocated by the government to California when she was ten, she became a citizen of two disparate worlds, the insular Cherokee dominion of Adair County in Oklahoma, and the racist, often unforgiving, streets of modern America. Here in Mankiller, the long-awaited autobiography by one of America's foremost leaders, Chief Wilma Mankiller shares for the first time her personal odyssey through the watershed decades of some of the most turbulent times in American history. Her story details the dawning of the Native American civil rights struggle and how the genesis of that movement mirrored her own search for meaning and balance as a woman of two cultures. A true child of the sixties, Chief Mankiller experienced her own political awakening after participating in the occupation of Alcatraz Island. In addition to her role as wife and mother, she planted her feet, at first tenuously, later more forcefully, on the course that eventually led her to assume her current role as head of state for a sovereign nation of native people. Along the way, Chief Mankiller candidly shares her own travails, including a near-fatal automobile collision that cost the life of her close friend and a kidney transplant operation that almost took her life. What makes Mankiller so unusual is that it tells not only her personal story, but honors and recounts the complex history of the Cherokee Nation, including the horrific Trail of Tears, which claimed the lives of more than fourthousand Cherokees. Alternating these historical chapters with her own life story, she movingly describes the short-lived glory of the "Golden Age of the Cherokees, " the depredations of Reconstruction, the Dawes Act, and boarding schools whose goal it was to deprive Cherokee children o

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - adates12 - LibraryThing

This autobiography tells the story of Wilma Mankiller's life and also the culture of her Cherokee tribe. I think this book can teach readers about what life is really like in a current day tribe ... Read full review

MANKILLER: A Chief and Her People

User Review  - Kirkus

Disappointing autobiography by the first woman to lead a major Indian nation. Mankiller made history in 1985 when she become principle chief of the Cherokee Nation. She holds the reins of power well ... Read full review

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