A True History of the United States: Indigenous Genocide, Racialized Slavery, Hyper-Capitalism, Militarist Imperialism and Other Overlooked Aspects of American Exceptionalism (Sunlight Editions)

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Historian Daniel E. Sjursen claims an important vantage point as a military veteran and author of a book that collectedly points out the flaws and blemishes of American exceptionalism. Sjursen’s The True History of the United States contributes a much-needed reality check, during a time of heightened discourses that position patriotism and militarism adjacent to white nationalism. It’s a timely read, given the current resistance against race consciousness. Sjursen does not whitewash the intractable legacy of racism from our collective American legacy. It is not revisionist to spell out the violent history of exclusion from – and in some cases, forced assimilation into – whiteness.

Context and location are important because similar volumes had been written by social-justice-oriented academics and scholars such as Howard Zinn and Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz. What sets Sjursen apart is his proximity to military institutions: serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan and teaching history at West Point. It’s a book written with much courage, as he debunks many historical fallacies and incomplete narratives about key events in American military history, unveiling hard truths about the institution from which he has undoubtedly benefited.

By telling the complete history of the Civil War, Western expansion and occupation of the Southwest, he notes how the U.S. government has consistently used military might against Black, indigenous and other marginalized racial groups. Sjursen’s analysis compels the reader to think critically, in order to move beyond the half-truths that keep us from collectively solving America’s most persistent and damaging inequities.


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Author Daniel Sjursen
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 683 pages
Publisher Truth to Power
Publish Date 01-Jun-2021
ISBN 9781586422530
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2021
Category History
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