Reviews of Savages & Scoundrels
VanDevelder promises to "recontextualize and realign some of the major themes in America's story that have been mythologized and embroidered in many of our familiar, widely read and widely taught histories." It's a promise he keeps. "Savages and Scoundrels is a riveting, often chilling account of how a young , land-hungry nation went about inventing the laws and policies that enabled it to push aside a people who, by its own admission and landmark court decisions, held legal ownership of millions of square miles of ancestral land. "How could this happen?" is a question VanDevelder answers in a sweeping exploration of history that stretches far beyond American borders or even the American nation itself."
Marc Covert/ The Oregonian
Reviews of Coyote Warrior
"Coyote Warrior is compelling,
— Debra Krol (Salinan/Esselen), Native Peoples Magazine
Recounts Tale of Heartbreak, Redemption in Indian Country
Albuquerque Journal, Dec. 5, 2004
professor's life tied to crucial event in Indian law
Montana Lawyer, October 2004
Warriors Tale: 'Coyote Warriors' brings the story of Indian
rights to life"
The Missoulian, Sept. 30, 2004
In the News ...
Going Full Circle
The Bismarck Tribune, May 22, 2005
More critical praise ...
"[A]n exhaustively researched...compelling account..."
-David Steves, The Eugene Register Guard
"Coyote Warrior is a riveting combination of courtroom
drama and epic American history...[A] must-read."
-William Lang, Albuquerque Journal
"The astonishing account of one American Indian's
battle against the federal government to save the land his ancestor's
"[Coyote Warrior] is the striking of flint in the
tall dry grass on yet another hillock of American claims to moral
high ground. VanDevelder skillfully Lewis-and-Clarks his way through
the history of America's westward expansion along a confounding
river of laws that twist and turn and erode the rights of Indians
and the dignity of our federal government at each bend...Coyote
Warrior advises us that conflicting ideologies are still drawing
blood, and that federal avarice remains disgracefully insatiate.
There are few virtues that, once damaged, can be restored, but
dignity may be among them. Is it too late for our federal government
to make amends with the Indian nations it would do well to emulate.
As VanDevelder so poignantly reminds us, 800 opportunities [broken
treaties] have been squandered thus far."
-Thorton Sully, SanDiego Union-Tribune
"Our famously immigrant nation has remained largely
oblivious to this former life of the North American continent....the
reader of "Coyote Warrior" may see a current running deeper than
the treaties [in this book] themselves. The Indian's history has
not only inextricably intertwined them with the natural life of
the continent, but it also poses a continuing challenge to what
a Bureau of Indian Affairs chairman once described as the American
assumption 'that the value system of the Anglo-Saxon is universal,
and that the individual ownership of property is the only natural
way for people to live.'"
- San Francisco Chronicle
"Raymond Cross' landmark legal battle would redeem
both his father's legacy and the dignity of his shattered people...[Coyote
Warrior] is a riveting combination of courtroom drama and epic
- Kenniwick Daily Record
"This glimpse into the fascinating history of the
Mandans is alone worth the cost of admission..."
- The Milwaukee Journal
"Compelling, outrageous and triumphant...[Coyote
Warrior] will open your eyes and heart to the ongoing battle to
preserve Native nations, history and cultures, and serve as a forceful
reminder of philosopher George Santaynana's admonition to remember
the past, lest society be doomed to repeat it."
- Debra Utacia Krol, Native Peoples Magazine
"VanDevelder's important book shows us the folks
he describes really aren't ghosts at all, but part of a vast mosaic
of peoples trying to make their way in a world where the only constant
- The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
"VanDevelder's careful chronicle of Raymond's struggles
is surprisingly gripping—think A Civil Action set on the
rez—and it'll have you cheering for the warrior in the three-piece
- Outside Magazine!
"Intense, heroic, patriotic, heartbreaking, uplifting,
wise and instructive, COYOTE WARRIOR is a major work of
American history, from a time filled with some men and women villainous,
and others great. It instructs us in the depths of the human heart,
for better as well as for worse. It is our country's story, and
it is our responsibility to know it. I'm grateful to Paul VanDevelder
for telling it."
- Rick Bass, the author of 'Colter'
"A gripping and vivid portrayal... highly recommended
for all libraries."
- Library Journal
"This is a beautiful, exhaustively researched, and
very moving story of a struggle to survive against all odds. It
has the impact of a great, epic novel. The various people, their
history, their landscape, and their battle for legal and spiritual
survival come vividly to life: I could not put COYOTE WARRIOR aside.
It is gripping history, a fabulous chronicle of generations, a
tale at the heart of America today. It's rare to find a work that
tackles such convoluted subject matter with so much élan,
immediacy, and poignant aliveness. Martin Cross and his son, Raymond,
are American heroes who give us all hope in a dark time. Their
tragic, yet also wonderful and engrossing history teems with energy,
dignity, suspense, and, in the end, salvation. There is such an
admirable moral center at the heart of this creation. Paul VanDevelder
is a very skilled and very special writer. COYOTE WARRIOR is
one of the most compassionate, uplifting, and important stories
that I have read in a long while."
- From John Nichols, author of 'The Milagro Beanfield War'
"American Indian tribes have wrought an historic
revival since the dark days of the 1940s. To capture this, Paul
VanDevelder tells the engrossing story of Martin Cross, the tribal
chairman who fought in vain to block the flooding of his people’s
homeland, and Martin’s son Raymond, the lawyer-professor
who has accomplished so much in the name of Indian self-determination
in recent years. Coyote Warrior is first-rate history
and a great read."
- Charles Wilkinson, Distinguished University Professor and
Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado, and
author of 'Crossing the Next Meridian,' and, 'Blood Struggle—The
Rise of Modern Indian Nations' (2005)
"A stirring family history recounting the ongoing
fight by the Fort Berthold people to preserve their heritage and
secure justice promised to them over the course of a century and
a half. Truly inspirational, this book captures the modern struggle
for Indian rights."
-Vine Deloria, Jr., a Sioux political scientist and author
of 'Custer Died For Your Sins' and 'Red Earth, White Lies'
"Coyote Warrior is nothing short of remarkable.
As a journey across our American landscape and our history, it
is a wonderful read, a very special achievement."
-Jack Hannon, general counsel, American Rivers, Inc.
"Non-Indians will never have western eyes so long
as they cling to the Man versus Nature dichotomy. Four hundred
years of this thinking gets you a civilization of people lost in
shopping malls, coast-to-coast take-out windows, a culture that
has lost its connection to the natural world. That is the ultimate
poverty for all men, and no amount of money can ransom that sadness."
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