Child of a copper baron, child of poor miners, the same world, and yet not the same at all. Journey with two young women into the past.
An epic that runs from the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 to the ore and industry of the 1930s, “American Copper” is a novel not only about America’s hidden desire for regeneration through violence but about the ultimate cost of forgiveness and the demands of atonement.
As Evelynne Lowry, the daughter of a copper baron, comes of age in early 20th century Montana, the lives of horses dovetail with the lives of people and her own quest for womanhood becomes inextricably intertwined with the future of two men who face nearly insurmountable lossesa lonely steer wrestler named Zion from the Montana highline, and a Cheyenne team roper named William Black Kettle, the descendant of peace chiefs.
Branded as a “radical,” a “Premature fascist,” and a “red sympathizer” who saw her books burned during the height of the McCarthy period of the 1950s, Agnes Smedley was largely excised from American literature until the 1973 reissue of Daughter of Earth. With fierce and painful honesty, this autobiographical novel describes her recurrent attempts to survive the scars of the poverty, child abuse, ignorance, and pain that she felt growing up in Midwestern and Western mining towns during the early part of this century, and portrays her involvement as an adult with revolutionary movements in India and China. This rare example of the self-transformation of an ordinary working-class woman into a feminist, teacher, writer, tireless activist for social change and revolutionary is powerful and compelling. Writing in 1929, Agnes Smedley describes marriage as “a relic of human slavery” and refuses to be owned by any man; instead she insists that her allegiances to humankind are as a daughter of earth, an individual, first, and a servant to the cause of human justice second: “Subjection of any kind and in any place is beneath the dignity of man … the highest joy is to fight by the side of those who for any reason of their own making or ours, are unable to develop to full human stature.” — For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let’s Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. — From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Suzanne Sowinska
(Hard title to find, but worth the search, amazon.com has buying options)