This Land Is Their Land – Audiobook Online

In “This Land Is Their Land,” David J. Silverman challenges readers to reexamine the history of early America by centering Native American voices and experiences. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Silverman illuminates the complex and often violent interactions between Indigenous peoples and European settlers, shedding light on pivotal moments that have shaped the country we know today. By delving into this history with nuance and empathy, Silverman invites readers to rethink the narratives they have been told, offering a fresh perspective on the true extent of Indigenous resistance and resilience in the face of colonization. This book is a vital contribution to our understanding of America’s past and a powerful call to reckon with the ongoing legacy of colonization and Native American dispossession.

In March 1621, when Plymouth’s survival hung in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief), Ousamequin (Massasoit), and the governor of Plymouth, John Carver, declared friendship between their people and each other and pledge to protect each other. Later that fall, the British harvested their first successful harvest and allayed the specter of famine. Ousamequin and 90 of his men then visited Plymouth for the ‘First Thanksgiving’. The treaty remained in force until King Philip’s War in 1675, when 50 years of uneasy peace between the two sides ended.

400 years after that famous meal, historian David J. Silverman sheds profound new light on the events that led to the union’s founding and bloody dissolution. Focusing on the Wampanoag Indians, Silverman deepens the story to examine the tensions that thrived before 1620 and persisted long after the brutal war – tracing the Wampanoag people’s ongoing struggle for rights self-determination until today.

This disturbing history reveals why some modern Indigenous people celebrate a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving, a holiday that honors the myth of colonialism and white ownership in USA. This Land is Their Land shows that it is time to rethink how we, as a pluralistic nation, tell the history of Thanksgiving.

After hearing Silverman’s story about the Wampanoag’s centuries with the British and their biological and cultural descendants, I felt both despair and hope. What is disappointing is the fact that the story of this particular encounter between Native Americans and Europeans is so familiar and widespread. In essence, it is repeated in many times, in many places and to this day. I credit Silverman’s scholarship and excellent writing for keeping me enthralled enough to endure this terrible story. The hope I refer to comes from knowing that there are still Wampanoag people living in their homeland and that they are strong enough to continue the struggle.

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