Monsters and Critics: Sandy Amzeen review 9/18/12
Raymond J. DeMallie “[The editors] have provided splendid introductions and meticulous and helpful annotations that allow readers to appreciate the importance of [the Renville] account. Zeman’s historical introduction is a scholarly tour de force that reflects an impressive knowledge of the sources and also a good sense of what is significant…. It is a complex story that is here well told and convincing…. It is an outstanding work.”
Mary Lethert Wingerd “This is an impressive contribution to our understanding of the 1862 US-Dakota War. The text and accompanying appendices will serve scholars as invaluable primary sources. They provide an inside look at the politics within the Dakota and mixed-blood community that exceeds in complexity any source that I have seen previously…. Zeman’s meticulous research brings together scattered and not easily accessible sources in an intelligent and coherent revision of many commonly held presumptions about conditions, attitudes, and loyalties that shaped the events of 1862-63…. Derounian-Stodola gives us an almost lyrical meditation on the meaning of home, homeland, and the connection between place and identity as well as useful cultural context. She writes beautifully and creates an emotional understanding for reading the subsequent text that is unusual in historical works…. [M]y admiration for this work is wholehearted.” –Mary Lethert Wingerd, author of North Country: the Making of Minnesota
Linda Clemmons “A Thrilling Narrative, as edited by Zeman and Derounian-Stodola, is an essential primary and secondary source for historians interested in the years leading up to, and through, the Dakota War of 1862. Literary critics specializing in captivity narratives will also find much of value in the reprint of this obscure text.” –Linda Clemmons, Illinois State University in South Dakota History Winter, 2012
Catherine Denial “Taken together the introductions, annotations, and foreword by Gwen Westerman transform Mary Renville’s captivity narrative from an apparently ‘simple’ statement of experience into a deeply contextualized historical document. The book will be of interest to anyone curious about about the nuances and complexities of the U.S. Dakota War and particularly to scholars of that era.” –Catherine Denial, Knox College, Minnesota History, Spring 2013
Michael Knock “A Thrilling Narrative of Indian Captivity, originally published in 1863, has been revived in a fascinating new edition edited by Carrie Reber Zeman and Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola. The book contains not only the Renville’s original narrative, but also an appendix of letters that passed between the Dakota camps and Minnesota authorities during the war. A second appendix contains correspondence between Mary and John through 1888. These primary documents paint a far more complicated picture of the war, and of the Renville’s marriage….This fascinating edition should help scholars to better understand the complexities of race, gender and compassion through the voices of those who struggled with them in their own lives.” –Michael Knock, Clarke University in Annals of Iowa, Spring of 2013.
Colette Hyman “A Thrilling Narrative of Indian Captivity is an ambitious, multifaceted volume that plunges us deep into the complexities of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War, and, more specifically, into the intratribal conflicts that erupted in the wake of colonization and dispossession…. A Thrilling Narrative of Indian Captivity confirms the view held by some that the U.S.-Dakota War was, as much as anything else, a civil war among Dakota in Minnesota, and makes a powerful case for listening to a wide range of voices in order to fully understand this conflict.” –Colette Hyman, Winona State University for H-Net here