For much of U.S. history, the story of native people has been written by historians and anthropologists relying on the often biased accounts of European-American observers. Though we have become well acquainted with war chiefs like Pontiac and Crazy Horse, it has been at the expense of better knowing civic-minded intellectuals like Andrew J. Blackbird, who sought in 1887 to give a voice to his people through his landmark book History of the Ottawa and Chippewa People. Blackbird chronicled the numerous ways in which these Great Lakes people fought to retain their land and culture, first with military resistance and later by claiming the tools of citizenship. This stirring account reflects on the lived experience of the Odawa people and the work of one of their greatest advocates.
This is so much more than a singular biography. In Blackbird’s Song, Karamanski has crafted a detailed and readable narrative of person, time, and place. This is how history should be written—with color, passion, and personality.
—Anthony G. Gulig, Chair, Department of History, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater