Have You Thought of Leonard Peltier Lately?: A Living Memoir with Artifacts

Feb 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 19-3: Beyond Our Names: Uncovering Identity, Tribal College News

PELTIER BOOK COVERby Harvey Arden
Compiled and edited by George Bowe Blitch
With special contributions by Leonard Peltier, George Blitch, Barry Bachrach, Standing Deer, Arthur Miller, Lawrence Sampson, Carter Camp, Stephanie Schwartz, and Keith Rabin
HYT Publishing (2004)

Review by Gretchen Healy

This is a book that should not have had to be written. Leonard Peltier, for the uninitiated, is a United States prisoner at Leavenworth Prison. Many believe, including me, that he was unjustly and illegally convicted for killing an FBI agent during the defense of Wounded Knee by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1973.

He has been a political prisoner for 28 years, longer than Nelson Mandela.   I believe it is a national shame that he remains incarcerated years past the time when he was supposed to be released on parole.

The writers in this book advocate for Peltier’s immediate, unconditional pardon and release. Insights from elders, other AIM members, and leaders make up the essays in this book. Some of Peltier’s artwork also illustrates the book. Because of its highly controversial nature, Arden found it nearly impossible to get the book published, finally finding a little-known publisher.

The book could have benefited by some good editing and marketing, but it is touching and timely. This book would be an excellent addition to any library with materials on Leonard Peltier, AIM, Wounded Knee, Oglala Lakota Indians, Ojibwa Indians, or the FBI conflict with AIM.

Gretchen Healy is library director at Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, NE.

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