Readin' Vegans--"Unworthy Republic"
For our Feb. 28 online book club, we'll discuss UNWORTHY REPUBLIC: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory, by Claudio Saunt (W. W. Norton, 2020). You need not have attended a previous discussion to join us for this one. We'll discuss the book until about 8:00, followed by open conversation.
If you'd like to read ahead:
Mar. 28 -- Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande
April 25 -- The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon, by Bill McKibben
May 23 -- Leave Only Footprints, by Conor Knighton
The Zoom link to the discussion is posted on the right, visible to those who RSVP. PLEASE NOTE: THIS LINK DISAPPEARS AT THE MEETUP START TIME, THAT IS, 7:00 PM. We'll be available from 6:50 on to help anyone who might need extra time to connect.
You will need a computer, laptop, smartphone or other device with internet access. It's pretty easy; if you're curious, check out https://zoom.us/.
If you can't get on, call us at 303-300-2368.
We hope to "see" you there!
About Unworthy Republic:
In May 1830, the United States formally launched a policy to expel Native Americans from the East to territories west of the Mississippi River. Justified as a humanitarian enterprise, the undertaking was to be systematic and rational, overseen by Washington’s small but growing bureaucracy. But as the policy unfolded over the next decade, thousands of Native Americans died under the federal government’s auspices, and thousands of others lost their possessions and homelands in an orgy of fraud, intimidation, and violence.
Drawing on firsthand accounts and the voluminous records produced by the federal government, Saunt’s deeply researched book argues that Indian Removal, as advocates of the policy called it, was not an inevitable chapter in U.S. expansion across the continent. Rather, it was a fiercely contested political act designed to secure new lands for the expansion of slavery and to consolidate the power of the southern states. Indigenous peoples fought relentlessly against the policy, while many U.S. citizens insisted that it was a betrayal of the nation’s values.
In telling this gripping story, Saunt, Professor in American History at the University of Georgia, shows how the politics and economics of white supremacy lay at the heart of the expulsion of Native Americans, how corruption, greed, and administrative indifference and incompetence contributed to the debacle of its implementation, and how the consequences still resonate today. Among awards the book has won:
- Winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History.
- Finalist for the National Book Award.
- A New York Times Critics' Top Book of 2020.
- Selected by the Washington Post as one of the ten best books of 2020.
- Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best books of 2020.
- Selected by The Atlantic as one of the fifteen best books of 2020.
The “definitive history of this widely remembered but seldom understood central episode in American history…. [O]ne of the most important books published on U.S. history in recent years.” - Sven Beckert, Laird Professor of History, Harvard University
An “extraordinary new history" and "a major achievement.” - Nick Romeo, Washington Post
"Unworthy Republic is a power and lucid account.... Saunt has written an unflinching book that reckons with this history and its legacy." - Jennifer Szalai, New York Times
A “much-needed rendering of a disgraceful episode in American history that has been too long misunderstood." - Peter Cozzens, Wall Street Journal