THE TORTURED AMERICANS by Robert Burnette

THE TORTURED AMERICANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I asked these questions and lived the answers."" Mr. Burnette is a Sioux, who grew up on a South Dakota reservation and from the age of 27 until now has worked for his people as a member and president of the Tribal Council. He leads off with the fatal statistics: 50% of all Indians are unemployed; they have a life expectancy of 43.5; they live in tarpaper shacks or abandoned cars on reservations which are the equivalent of dictatorships. Mr. Burnette's initial successes were minor: Doris Duke gave his Rosebud reservation a truck to haul surplus government commodities; he testified on and off in Washington re police abuses and brutalization and waste; sooner or later most of the ""issues met a natural death by indifference."" Still we are not altogether responsible -- tribal forces and tribal regulators also contribute to the original and enduring sins. Burnette's book is short and based to a large degree on his own experience; he makes his statement with the kind of stripped simplicity which permits the facts to speak for themselves. (He is currently Director of the American Indians and Friends, Inc.)

Pub Date: June 8th, 1971
Publisher: Prentice-Hall