Synopses & Reviews
In this dramatic story, R. C. Gordon-McCutchan chronicles the intense and accelerating conflict between Spanish settlers and the Indians and continues with the long history of U.S. government intervention. The book, a tribute to the stubborn courage of a people, shows how this battle became the focus of national debate and the centerpiece for an entirely new governmental approach to Indian affairs.
It is extremely rare that a book addresses the positive side of the struggle between Native Americans and the United States Government. This book tells a fascinating story that involves not only Indians devoted to a decades-long struggle to reclaim their sacred Blue Lake and preserve their culture but also includes a host of prominent non-native figures who allied themselves with the Indians' quest. The list includes Fred Harris, Ted and Robert Kennedy, Stuart Udall, Barry Goldwater, George McGovern, Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon, John Collier, Oliver La Farge, and Eliot Porter. The Taos Indians' persistent attempts to reclaim their sacred lands repeatedly met with failure until 1970 when President Richard Nixon took a personal interest in the matter. Nixon oversaw the formation of a bipartisan campaign that eventually brought the Blue Lake issue to a successful roll call vote in the Senate. This book shows how the battle for Blue Lake became the focus of national debate and the centerpiece for the Indian "new deal" commenced under Nixon's leadership. It is a paean to individual courage and initiative and focuses on one of the few bright spots in the conduct of established governments toward the native people of North America.