An American Genocide
The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Yale University Press 2016
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Genocide StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in the American WestNew Books Network November 1, 2017 Matthew Johnson
In less than thirty years, California’s Indian population fell from 150,000 to 30,000. In An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873 (Yale University Press, 2016), Benjamin Madley, Associate Professor of History at UCLA, argues that war or disease can’t explain this population drop. The state and federal government carried out genocide against California Indians between 1846 and 1873. Madley uncovers, in excruciating detail, how government officials created a killing machine that cost at least $1,700,000.
An American Genocide has won many awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, the Raphael Lemkin Book Award from the Institute for the Study of Genocide, the Charles Redd Phi Alpha Theta Award for the Best Book on the American West, the California Book Award’s Gold Medal for California, and the Heyday Books History Award. The book was also named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, an Indian Country Today Hot List book, and a Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title. True West Magazine also named Madley the Best New Western Author of 2016.