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What Are the Stories We Tell and the Stories We Don’t Tell and Why? The Cost of Free Land with Rebecca Clarren

In this episode Kate is joined by author Rebecca Clarren to explore her book Cost of Free Land; Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance. The Cost of Free Land explores an entwined history; one of Rebecca’s Jewish ancestors and their land in South Dakota and the Lakota that had been forced off that land by the US government. In the podcast, Rebecca explores the profound role of storytelling and history in shaping cultural narratives across different communities within the broader tapestry of history in America – touching on both the stories passed down through her family and the stories she uncovers through the course of the book in speaking with members of the Lakota Nation and uncovering history. They discuss the importance of the stories that are told and those that remain untold, considering their lasting impact on future generations and how personal and cultural narratives intertwine to inform our understanding of the present. Throughout, the deep complexities, and atrocities, of history and the intergenerational effects of historical events are explored – illuminating the stories we may not have heard in classrooms or textbooks and what actions and responsibilities we can take as we work towards healing.

Find Rebecca Clarren:

The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance

Instagram: @rclarren



Resources/Books Mentioned: 

Reconciliation Rising

Indian Land Tenure Foundation


Hitler’s American Model by James Whitman

Learning from the Germans by Susan Neiman

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Control by Adam Rutherford

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