From Warriors to Soldiers: A History of American Indian Service in the U.S. Military

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Kirkus Review called this "a concise, moving history of American Indian military service." The book opens with a burning, difficult question that both enlivens and haunts the pages that follow: “Why have American Indians served, and why do they continue to serve, a government that has betrayed and broken promises to native peoples for multiple generations?” Robinson & Lucas let their question breathe, all allow the actions of this story’s heroes-from Geronimo and Chief Joseph to the late Lori Ann Piestewa, a Hopi soldier killed in Iraq in 2003-speak for themselves. These narratives form an amazing record of self-discovery and political courage, one in which people forcibly divested of their land and traditions continue to look for their place in the sometimes violent, sometimes hopeful history of the United States. The book’s authors initially intended for their project to be a television documentary, and it is easy to imaging the work as a smart hour of public television. Robinson and Lucas are not academically trained, and military historians and scholars won’t find much here that is new (although the authors do provide an extensive bibliography). Interested readers, however, will find a wonderful and compendious account of American Indian military service from the colonial period to the present. The book is a nice, engaging read. Recommended reading for anyone curious about American military and Native American history.

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