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Diné: A History of the Navajos Paperback – August 28, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Combines indigenous and archival perspectives in a history of the Navajo Indians from their origins to the present."

." . .ÝIverson¨ skillfully traces the history of the Din from their semi-nomadic origins through the tragedy of the Long Walk, the dark days of the reservation period, and the twentieth-century emergence of the Navajo Nation."

"Few scholars aside from Peter Iverson could accomplish this authoritative and comprehensive history, which starts with 'origins' and ends in the twenty-first century. . . . The work will stand for many years as a useful reference and an engaging narrative."

"Iverson, a history professor at Arizona State University, draws on a wealth of oral traditions, interviews, archival documents, and personal experience to paint a vivid and detailed portrait of Native American adaptation and endurance in the Southwest. Beginning with the Navajo creation story, he skilfully traces the history of the Din from their semi-nomadic origins through the tragedy of the Long Walk, the dark days of the reservation period, and the twentieth-century emergence of the Navajo Nation. Throughout, Iverson emphasizes the unique cultural qualities that have enabled the Navajo to persist and prosper in the face of adversity. Sympathetic without sacrificing objectivity, this finely wrought book is likely to stand for the foreseeable future as the standard history of the Navajos."

"Perhaps owing to Iverson's lengthy relationship with the tribe, this history stands out among the many other books on the subject, which pale by comparison. His well-organized, thoughtful, and informative book offers a vivid and detailed account of Navajo culture and history. . . . The story of the Navajo struggle to survive covers both the good and bad events in U.S.-Navajo relations as well as the internal struggles of the tribe. Monty Roessel's photographs offer beautiful and thought-provoking glimpses into the dynamic Navajo world, adding vivid detail to Iverson's work."

." . .[Iverson] skillfully traces the history of the Din from their semi-nomadic origins through the tragedy of the Long Walk, the dark days of the reservation period, and the twentieth-century emergence of the Navajo Nation."

"This is an important book not only for the history it creates, but also for the questions it raises. Iverson negotiates the flash points involved in tribal histories- pointing them out without fully engaging them. He does so with uncommon grace and skill. . . [the book] stands out as a landmark of American Indian history."

From the Publisher

Published by University of New Mexico Press. This book is the most complete and current history of the largest American Indian nation in the U.S., based on extensive new archival research, traditional histories, interviews, and personal observation.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; First edition (August 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082632715X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826327154
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard M. Affleck on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Dine'" is the story of the largest Native American tribe/nation in North America. Peter Iverson's narrative takes us from the emergence of the Navajo in the Four Corners area of the Colorado Plateau to the very recent past. Along the way we learn about the Dine' origin stories, the archaeological evidence for how they may have interacted with the Puebloan peoples that they encountered on the Plateau, and their settlement in the area (Dinetah) bounded by the four sacred mountains. Iverson takes us through the oftimes traumatic interactions between the Dine' and the governments of Spain, Mexico, and the United States. He pays particular attention, as he should, to the Long Walk, when, in 1864, the Dine' were forcibly removed from their land and marched hundreds of miles to the east to Fort Sumner and the miserable "reservation" at Bosque Redondo, where thousands died. Four years later, having signed a treaty with the United States, the Dine' returned to Dinetah, sadly one of the few instances where displaced First Americans were able to reclaim their ancestral homeland.
The balance of Iverson's book involves the key developments that have occurred since the late nineteenth century, in particular the evolution of Navajo tribal government, the often stormy relationship with the United States, and the changes that the Dine' have undergone in the last hundred or more years. One theme that the author returns to again and again is the resilience of Dine' culture, and the ability of the Navajo to incorporate new cultural elements and people into their lifeways.
Iverson is not the most elegant of writers, but he does manage to get his points across. The book is amply illustrated with historic photographs, although it could use a few more maps.
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I am a relocated Navajo, since 1956 to Ca. I never was "taught" my native culture. Because we lived in the "white man's world" I have since returned many times to my native homeland, hurt and lonely. I am now learning what was taken away from my soul. The Navajo. This book is another truth for me. Some of the stories are ones that my mother has told me. My grandfather was an infant during the long walk home.
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Peter Iverson has one of the best ways of delivering the Navajo history to the public. He is a storyteller from way back and relates the History of the Navajos from the beginning to present day (1400's to present). A thoroughly interesting and entertaining way of presenting the Dine' story. If you are interested in Native American History, if you are interested in the History of the Navajo tribe in particular, then this is the book for you. They have a rich history and beautiful culture and it is easy to see (once you read the book) how they have survived and grown to 300,000 people overtime. It is absolutely amazing how they have become the largest Native American tribe in America.
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Format: Paperback
My sister took a position in Chinle Arizona for the National Indian Health Service. I wanted to know and understand more about the culture and what to expect when I visited. I ran across this book and even though it is clearly a text book, I was more than pleased. It was easy to read, written by someone with a wicked sense of humor and very informative.

The history is facinating even though very disturbing in many respects. It is well balanced and worth the time.
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The Dine are an ancient people, and I was looking forward to learning a bit of their long history and culture. I was disappointed to discover that only about 15 of 400 pages cover history prior to the Europeans showing up. And that first chapter on their long history feels incomplete and rushed. The rest of the book gives a quite detailed but dry recounting of their recent history.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book in order for my Granddaughter to learn about a part of her heritage that has never been explored. I highly reccommend anyone truly interested in learning about the Navajo Culture read this book!
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I recently visited the Navajo Nation. I found this book to be very interesting and informative, giving me the history of the people and places I saw. Although it is used as a textbook, it is so interesting that I find it hard to put down. It is entertaining and an easy read. The photographs are great.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is very interesting as a good book to read with inside views of political battles and characters that lead the Navajo Nation aginst corruption and negative government interference. There is also a good chapter about Navajo warriors stepping up to the plate for America in their time of need. It is very personable, which you have to respect, it is like someone giving you the key to their house. Anyone can get the feeling that the Navajo are special people we do not want to lose, so we should understand their view in a Positive way. They have taken care of their Glittering World better than any one else on this planet would have.
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