Does People Do It?: A Memoir

Nov 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 20-2: Native Green, Media Reviews

University of Oklahoma Press (2008)

Review by Michael W. Simpson

In this book, U.S. Senator Fred Harris gives us incredible insight into the American political scene from the 1950s through the 1970s. Born and raised poor in southwestern Oklahoma, he rose quickly on the American political scene with his New Populism and with his marriage to LaDonna Harris (Comanche).

These two helped bring Native issues to the table in Washington, DC. This is part of the University of Oklahoma Press’s “Stories and Storytellers” series, which is most appropriate. Harris spins great tales about confronting stereotypes about Native peoples, Robert Kennedy’s desire to understand Native issues, and personal insights into the political powers of the day.

I recommend this book for tribal college libraries since Fred and LaDonna Harris continue to give hope to us all. These two leaders are important in modern Native history.

Michael W. Simpson, J.D., M.Ed., is an educator, social justice advocate, and scholar living in Tucson, AZ. He can be reached via email:

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