No One Ever Asked Me: The World War II Memories of an Omaha Indian Soldier

Aug 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 18-1: The Winding Road to Student Success, Media Reviews

Victoria Smith, Editor
University of Nebraska Press (2005), 190 pages
ISBN 0-8032-4324-3, $24.95

Review by James Thull

This book is essentially an oral history. Approximately half of the book consists of written transcriptions of interviews Victoria Smith held with Hollis Stabler, an Omaha Indian. Smith does the reader a service and strengthens the overall value of the book by consistently helping to fill-in, correct, and elaborate on Hollis’s memories. While the title suggests that this book is primarily about Hollis’s wartime experiences, I would argue that it is really about the life of Hollis Stabler.

The book is a worthwhile pleasure to read even as it provides firsthand accounts of major historical events. Hollis was not an important, famous, or particularly heroic man but was, like most of us, an average person who simply played the hand life dealt him as best he could. I would recommend this book for purchase by tribal libraries based on its historical and cultural value.

James Thull is a reference librarian and assistant professor at Montana State University in Bozeman.

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