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A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha Paperback – January 9, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Darren Bonaparte is a Mohawk historian, author, journalist and artist from Akwesasne. He is the creator of the Wampum Chronicles, a cultural history website, and is a frequent lecturer at schools, universities, museums and festivals throughout the US and Canada.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing; 1 edition (January 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439217912
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439217917
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jen Richard-Morrow on September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Bonaparte has written an excellent account of St. Kateri Tekakwitha,
her people and the perilous 17th century she lived in. The only book (AFAIK)
written from the Mohawk point of view, explaining the changing culture of the
Iroquois in the post-European-contact period with all its upheavals and Kateri's
place in it. Lovely and historically accurate illustrations by Mr Montour.
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I usually dislike biographies of saints - they're often romanticized, antiseptic, distorted and contain "facts" taken totally out of context. Bonaparte's well-researched book placed Kateri solidly in her times, added a considerable amount of reliable historical information, and wrote it all in a highly readable, satisfying narrative that was meaningful and sensible. I'd recommend this book to both casual readers and academics; it's outstanding.
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Mr. Bonaparte's undertaking in this work is an enormous task, and he succeeds very well. This work gives a solid background of the Five Nations of the Iroquois from the seventeenth century and the time of first contact with the Jesuit Missionaries. He uses archeological findings to trace the movement of the Mohawk people over time, and also refutes some errors in the well known "Jesuit Relations" (accounts written by the priests themselves about their experiences in Iroquois and other Nations), written from the seventeenth and into the eighteenth centuries.

It touches on the alliances that were made between the Five Nations and New France, as well as the Dutch in the region of what is today the Northeast United States and Canada. The struggles between traditionalists and converts is also illustrated.

A work that is written by a man who claims not to be an Historian, yet he has a well organized and interdisciplinary work that has an addictive narrative, filled with smatterings of wit and personal observation.

This work adds a much needed Native American perspective and voice to the works being and having been written about the Iroquois from the seventeenth century to the present.
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Overall, a nice book showing the alternative perspective that Mohawk people may have regarding Kateri. Much of the book puts her life into historical context. The only issue that I have with the author's style is that there are times when he presumes things that may not be valid. However, much has been presumed about the Mohawk, so I guess it stands to reason.
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