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Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - Peltier, Leonard ; Arden, Harvey

Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - Peltier, Leonard ; Arden, Harvey

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Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Peltier, Leonard ; Arden, Harvey

Format: Hardcover with Dust Jacket

Published by St Martins Pr, 1999

Leonard Peltier, now in his twenty-fourth year of confinement, was wrongly convicted of the murder of two FBI agents and has been doing hard time ever since. Immortalized in Peter Matthiessen's bestselling In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Peltier remains in prison as his appeals for clemency languish on the president's desk, despite calls for his freedom from the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, the Europeart Parliament, and other prominent international figures. Prison Writings, compiled by Peltier over the years, tells the extraordinary story of his life - his impoverished upbringing in the Dakotas, his gradual development as an American Indian leader during the political upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the tense battles with the government that culminated with the "Incident at Oglala." This last event is one of the darker moments of American history, when FBI agents raided an Indian reservation on the slimmest of pretenses, setting off a firefight in which two agents were killed. Correctly anticipating an unfair judicial process, Peltier escaped to Canada following the shootout. Using false information gained by intimidating a young Indian woman into providing untrue testimony, the FBI illegally extradited Peltier from Canada and then withheld exonerating information at his trial. Since his conviction, a government lawyer has admitted that the prosecution had no idea who killed the two FBI agents, yet Peltier is still locked up at Leavenworth penitentiary in Kansas. Whether writing about his childhood, his involvement with the American Indian Movement (AIM), the events at Oglala, or the infamous trial that resulted, Peltier is remarkably philosophical, and even forgiving, his voice a blanket of mercy and compassion. Looking beyond himself, he places his experience in the context of the long history of America's betrayals of and injustices to its Indian peoples. Prison Writings is thus a major political memoir, and it echoes the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and, especially, Martin Luther King, Jr.

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