Murder at the Mission: A Frontier Killing, Its Legacy of Lies, and the Taking of the American West (Paperback)

Murder at the Mission: A Frontier Killing, Its Legacy of Lies, and the Taking of the American West By Blaine Harden Cover Image
$18.00
On Our Shelves Now
On hand as of Sep 27 6:03pm

Description


Finalist for the 2022 Will Rogers Medallion Award

“Terrific.” –Timothy Egan, The New York Times


A riveting investigation of both American myth-making and the real history that lies beneath.Claudio Saunt, author of Unworthy Republic

From the New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Camp 14, a “terrifically readable” (Los Angeles Times) account of one of the most persistent “alternative facts in American history: the story of a missionary, a tribe, a massacre, and a myth that shaped the American West


In 1836, two missionaries and their wives were among the first Americans to cross the Rockies by covered wagon on what would become the Oregon Trail. Dr. Marcus Whitman and Reverend Henry Spalding were headed to present-day Washington state and Idaho, where they aimed to convert members of the Cayuse and Nez Perce tribes. Both would fail spectacularly as missionaries. But Spalding would succeed as a propagandist, inventing a story that recast his friend as a hero, and helped to fuel the massive westward migration that would eventually lead to the devastation of those they had purportedly set out to save.

As Spalding told it, after uncovering a British and Catholic plot to steal the Oregon Territory from the United States, Whitman undertook a heroic solo ride across the country to alert the President. In fact, he had traveled to Washington to save his own job. Soon after his return, Whitman, his wife, and eleven others were massacred by a group of Cayuse. Though they had ample reason - Whitman supported the explosion of white migration that was encroaching on their territory, and seemed to blame for a deadly measles outbreak - the Cayuse were portrayed as murderous savages. Five were executed.

This fascinating, impeccably researched narrative traces the ripple effect of these events across the century that followed. While the Cayuse eventually lost the vast majority of their territory, thanks to the efforts of Spalding and others who turned the story to their own purposes, Whitman was celebrated well into the middle of the 20th century for having "saved Oregon." Accounts of his heroic exploits appeared in congressional documents, The New York Times, and Life magazine, and became a central founding myth of the Pacific Northwest.

Exposing the hucksterism and self-interest at the root of American myth-making, Murder at the Mission reminds us of the cost of American expansion, and of the problems that can arise when history is told only by the victors.

About the Author


Blaine Harden is a contributor to The Economist, PBS Frontline, and Foreign Policy, and has formerly served as The Washington Post's bureau chief in East Asia and Africa. He is the author of The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot; Escape from Camp 14, an international bestseller published in 27 languages; A River Lost; and Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent, which won a Pen American Center citation for a first book of non-fiction.

Praise For…


“Terrifically readable.” Los Angeles Times

“A richly detailed and expertly researched account of how a concocted story [...] became a part of American legend . . . Harden’s deeply researched book, often from the letters and words of the principle figures themselves to rebuke lies told on their behalf, is not history revised. Murder at the Mission is history revealed.” Spokesman Review

“[A] fascinating, well-written exposé . . . Harden skillfully brings to life the collision of myth and reality. He has managed to write a fittingly timely book that fits well into the post-Donald Trump era of false narratives, conspiracy theories, and cries of fake news.” New York Journal of Books

“A well-written, fast-paced account . . . [that] succeeds in bringing often-forgotten history front and center . . . Highly recommended.”Library Journal (starred review)

"Harden’s vivid reconstruction illustrates the process of Western mythmaking, beloved of Americans when it paints them in a heroic light; and of cultural collision, with the Whitmans almost willfully ignoring the Cayuse worldview . . . A boon for those who like their history unadorned by obfuscation and legend." Kirkus Reviews

"Harden meticulously outlines how one bitter minister crafted an outlandish lie out of the Whitmans' deaths, promoting a narrow vision of heroic white Christians destined to conquer the land, a vision that persisted into the twentieth century, echoing far beyond the Pacific Northwest." Booklist

“[A] lively history . . . Enriched by dramatic storytelling and candid interviews with contemporary Cayuses, this immersive account illuminates how the tragedies of the past inform the present.” Publishers Weekly

“A gifted writer and a tenacious sleuth, Blaine Harden has hit the reset button on a troubling cluster of myths that lie at the foundation of the Anglo-American settlement of the Pacific Northwest. Elucidating, captivating, skeptical of conventional assumptions, and doggedly on the scent of the truth, Murder at the Mission is narrative history at its very best.” —Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

“In this remarkable history of dishonesty, greed, and perseverance, Harden exposes the chauvinistic and fictitious story that rests at the foundation of U.S. expansion in the Pacific Northwest. He shows how the lionizing of missionaries and mountain men created a triumphant, self-serving narrative that justified the dispossession of the region’s native inhabitants. And in the book’s indispensable conclusion, he describes how the Cayuse Indians survived the onslaught and are now working to rebuild their communities and restore their traditional homelands. Murder at the Mission is a riveting investigation of both American myth-making and the real history that lies beneath.” Claudio Saunt, author of Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory

“In crisp and engaging prose, Harden charts the birth, life, and (one hopes) death of a big American lie, exposing along the way a century-long list of willing collaborators: missionaries, Indian agents, newspaper editors, politicians, historians, plain old con men, and a university president. Murder at the Mission is narrative history that matters, made all the more necessary because the lie’s consequences for the Cayuse people are today as real, and raw, as ever.” Scott W. Berg, author of 38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Frontier's End
Product Details
ISBN: 9780525561682
ISBN-10: 0525561684
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: April 26th, 2022
Pages: 480
Language: English

How to read more

https://unsplash.com/@birminghammuseumstrust
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

Indie Bestsellers

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.
 

Indie Next List

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.
Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.