Daniel J. Sharfstein - Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War
In his second book, Sharfstein, Vanderbilt law and history professor and author of The Invisible Line, follows the life of Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), whose ideals and flawed accomplishments paralleled those of the country. A Union general, Howard lost battles yet also won the Medal of Honor. He led the Freedmen’s Bureau during Reconstruction but failed to realize his goals of racial equality. After founding and serving as president of Howard University, he returned to military life, working to turn Native Americans into Christian farmers on reservations. He met his match with Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, who demanded Native land and rights, prompting Howard to engage in a relentless campaign across four states, after which Chief Joseph declared, “I will fight no more forever.”
Sharfstein will be in conversation with E. Ethelbert Miller, poet and former director of Howard University’s African-American Resource Center.