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A warrior of the people : how Susan La…
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A warrior of the people : how Susan La Flesche overcame racial and gender… (edition 2016)

by Joe Starita

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393455,464 (2.5)1
" On March 14, 1889, Susan La Flesche received her medical degree becoming the first Native American doctor in U.S. history. She earned her degree thirty-one years before women could vote and thirty-five years before Indians could become citizens in their own country. By age twenty-six, this fragile but indomitable Indian woman became the doctor to her tribe. Overnight, she acquired 1,244 patients scattered across 1,350 square miles of rolling countryside with few roads. Her patients often were desperately poor and desperately sick tuberculosis, small pox, measles, influenza families scattered miles apart, whose last hope was a young woman who spoke their language and knew their customs. This is the story of an Indian woman who effectively became the chief of an entrenched patriarchal tribe, the story of a woman who crashed through thick walls of ethnic, racial and gender prejudice, then spent the rest of her life using a unique bicultural identity to improve the lot of her people physically, emotionally, politically, and spiritually. A Warrior of the People is the moving biography of Susan La Flesche's inspirational life, and it will finally shine a light on her numerous accomplishments. The author will donate all royalties from this book to a college scholarship fund he has established for Native American high school graduates. "--"On March 14, 1889, Susan La Flesche received her medical degree becoming the first Native American doctor in U.S. history. She earned her degree thirty-one years before women could vote and thirty-five years before Indians could become citizens in their own country. By age twenty-six, this fragile but indomitable Indian woman became the doctor to her tribe. Overnight, she acquired 1,244 patients scattered across 850 square miles of rolling countryside with few roads. Her patients often were desperately poor and desperately sick tuberculosis, small pox, measles, influenza families scattered miles apart, whose last hope was a young woman who spoke their language and knew their customs. This is the story of an Indian woman who effectively became the chief of an entrenched patriarchal tribe, the story of a woman who crashed through thick walls of ethnic, racial and gender prejudice, then spent the rest of her life using a unique bi-cultural identity to improve the lot of her people--physically, emotionally, politically, and spiritually. Warrior of the People is the moving biography of Susan La Flesche's inspirational life, and it will finally shine a light on her numerous accomplishments. La Flesche is also the subject of a forthcoming PBS documentary"--… (more)
Member:ohlonelibrary
Title:A warrior of the people : how Susan La Flesche overcame racial and gender inequality to become America's first Indian doctor
Authors:Joe Starita
Info:New York : St. Martin's Press, 2016.
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A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor by Joe Starita

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In my opinion, this was a poorly written book about the life of an amazing woman. Susan La Flesche was the first Indian doctor. She was the first in so many ways. She was tireless in her efforts to make a better life for her people. She understood the importance of good hygiene and good eating habits. She knew there were ways to avoid getting sick and wanted to share the knowledge with everyone.

My mother-in-law and I are both reading this book for a book club. We both LOVE reading. We were both really struggling to read this book for several reasons:

- It is terribly repetitive. You read about the exact same thing over and over.
- It could be shortened a lot by not listing every example of whatever is being talked about. For instance, I think it is chapter 6, it talks about how friends take her to different cultural events - it must have listed each thing she did with each person. Just summarize that.
- The chapters overlap too much.

In the end, my MIL and I decided I would read the even chapters and she would read the odd. We both read 1 -4, then I read 6, 8 and 10 and she read 5, 7 and 9. When she sent her summary of chapter 7 I had to read it twice because I thought it was my summary of the chapter I had just read.

She was so amazing, I wish this book had been amazing for her! ( )
  Lisa5127 | May 25, 2019 |
Author wasn't right for this subject. I had been waiting for awhile to read this book. We often don't hear about many pioneers in their fields and I was intrigued by the tale of the first Native American doctor in US history. I was curious to read about the struggles she might have faced, what her life was like, how she coped (apparently she was the responsible for over 1,200 patients over a territory of 1,350 miles. And this was back before the car. 
 
I don't know much about her but I felt overall disappointed by the book. The writing is awkward and I felt it tried a little too hard to try to get into Dr. La Flesche's POV without actually having the sources to do so. The cover talks about overcoming racial and gender inequality but it didn't seem like that was mentioned much. 
 
Overall the writing was plodding and just hard to get through. The author seems to really love talking about his subject but that just didn't come through. It's clear he's very excited about his subject but the writing doesn't match the enthusiasm.
 
I also note that it's not clear to me if the author is Native American. The flap notes that all royalties of the book will go to a scholarship fund he established for Native American high school graduates, which is cool. But I wonder if he is unable to really understand and convey the doctor's accomplishments and life without that experience of sharing her heritage or Native American heritage, period.
 
This is a story that might not have been told without him as a reporter and academic (and it's clear he cites many sources of books, newspapers, interviews, etc.) at the end. But overall while I learned a bit more I just didn't think he was the person to tell the story. Recommend borrowing this from the library. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
An interesting story you would never learn about in school unless maybe you live in or around Omaha Nebraska. It’s the telling of a Native woman that overcame tremendous odds to become a doctor. You’ll find some interesting women’s rights history in this story. ( )
  Jolynne | Feb 23, 2017 |
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