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The Wind Won't Know Me: A History of the Navajo-Hopi Dispute Paperback – March 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; Oklahoma paperbacks ed edition (March 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080613125X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806131252
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Public Law 93-531, the Navajo-Hopi Settlement Act passed by Congress in 1974, set off a chain of events that has brought misery and uncertainty to thousands of Native Americans, has thus far cost the federal government more than $40,000,000 and has caused litigation that continues. Calling for the partition of tribal lands, the law involved the relocation of members of both tribes. The land dispute is seen as a struggle over cultural values between the sheepherding Navajo and the farming Hopi who also use the land in religious ceremonies. Benedek, who covered the story for Newsweek, details the background of the two million acres in question, profiles the tribes, assesses the Relocation Commission as incompetent and corrupt and describes the roles played by bungling bureaucrats and lawyers who have garnered huge fees from the proceedings. Focussing on events of 1985-1986, this account exemplifies government intervention at its worst. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The reservations of the Navajo and Hopi Indians in northern Arizona have been a source of conflict and controversy since the 1880s. In this book, Benedek focuses on the activism of Navajos facing relocation and developments in the legislative and court battles between the two tribes in 1985-86. She describes the Navajo and Hopi cultures and the conflicts that exist within and between the tribes. The Hopi Tribal Council and their lawyers are definitely portrayed as the villains here. This journalistic account, which originated from a 1985 assignment for Newsweek , is well written and engrossing. For an earlier history of this dispute, see Jerry Kammer's The Second Long Walk ( LJ 5/15/81). Recommended.
- Gwen Gregory, U.S. Courts Lib., Phoenix
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I am a writer and journalist. Since 9/11, I have written exclusively about terrorism and counterterrorism. See my web page, www.emilybenedek.com to learn why I decided my latest book had to be written as a novel.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike Smith on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, well-researched, well-written book about a very complex issue. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute, or to anyone living in the Four Corners states.

What is the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute?

Well, over three quarters of the land that used to belong to the Hopi tribe has gradually, since the 1860s, been taken from them and given to the Navajo. Now, of the sprawling reservation at the center of the Four Corners states--Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, the states whose corners all meet at one point--only the reservation's small, misshapen center, the small hole of a big donut, is Hopi reservation. The rest, on all sides of the Hopi, is Navajo.

In the early-1970s, Congress enacted a law that gave the Hopis back some of their land, but by that time, the land had been lived on by generations of Navajos and become sacred to them.

Some of the Navajos left, and were relocated into shoddy houses with dry wells and no roads to reach them, and many sold or traded their new houses to unethical real estate agents, and ended up with little or nothing. Most other Navajos refused to give their land back, and were then forbidden to make any repairs to their homes, or to build on their land.

The Hopi reasoned that the land wasn't the Navajos' to maintain, and hoped the building freeze would drive them out. But the Navajos remained. Navajos whose homes were unfinished had to live in what was already there, and Navajos whose homes were damaged couldn't repair them. Many ended up living in houses with broken doors, broken windows, and holes in their roofs, which rain and snow could blow into.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gary An on April 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book while I was driving through Northern Arizona and headed into the area described by the dispute. This book is a moving account of how the anglo practice of drawing borders and lines on the land has affected two ancient peoples. It also aids in showing Native Americans as the heterogeneous group that they really are. We (and I include myself in this group) have a tendency to look at Native Americans as a single group, at least within a single geographical region. The history of Hopi-Navajo interactions is an example of different peoples with different world views who were able to co-exist for generations before the formulation of artificial boundaries. We also see the pressures on traditional practicies by economic imperitives. I strongly reccommend this book for anyone interested in the recent history of Native Americans and the Southwest.
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By Marvin Donatto on August 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book history through the eyes of Native Americans.
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