Conquest | Praise
"Andrea Smith has no fear. She challenges conventional activist thinking
about global and local, sexism and racism, genocide and imperialism. But more,
in every chapter she tries to answer the key question: What is to be
done? Many remedies proposed by well-meaning activists produce more of the very
damage they purport to undo, because the analysis leading to action fails to
take seriously the structural connections that fuse the range of harms discussed
in this volume. Conquest is unsettling, ambitious, brilliant, disturbing:
read it, debate it, use it."
"During the 1980's and 90's there was a veritable explosion in the field
of fiction by Aboriginal [North American Indian] authors. In the past decade,
non-fiction has followed suit with one exciting piece of work after another
being turned out by such authors as Jack Forbes, Taieke Alfred, Womack, Jace
Weaver and others. But this is the book Aboriginal women have been waiting for
with bated breath. It is the non-fiction work we all wish we had the time and
inclination to research and write. It is the book we all wish was in the library
within easy reach during the long years of our education. Not only has Andrea
Smith meticulously researched the place of rape and violence against Indigenous
women in the colonial process, but also she is the first to fully articulate
the connection between violence against the earth, violence against women and
North America's terrible inclination toward war. Every single adult human being
on this continent needs to read this book. If we did, we would all find inside
ourselves the wherewithal to face our history and alter its course."
"Andrea Smith offers a powerful analysis of sexual violence that reaches
far beyond the dominant theoretical understandings, brilliantly weaving together
feminist explanations of violence against Native women, the historical data
regarding colonialism and genocide, and a strong critique of the current responses
to the gender violence against women of color. As a passionate activist and
a deeply respected scholar, Smith brings her experience working on the ground
to this important project, rendering Conquest one of the most significant
contributions to the literature in Native Studies, Feminism, and Social Movement
Theory in recent years."
—Beth E. Richie, Head, Department of African American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago; Activist in anti-violence and anti-prison movements; Author of Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women
"Conquest radically rethinks the historical scope and dimensionality
of 'sexual violence,' a historical vector of bodily domination that is too often
reduced to universalizing—hence racist—narratives of gendered oppression
and resistance. Offering a breathtaking genealogy of white supremacist genocide
and colonization in North America, this book provides a theoretical model that
speaks critically and urgently to a broad continuum of political and intellectual
traditions. In this incisive and stunningly comprehensive work, we learn how
the proliferation of sexual violence as a normalized feature of modern euroamerican
patriarchies is inseparable from a living history of violence against indigenous
women and women of color. Andrea Smith has presented us with an epochal challenge
in this book, one that should productively disrupt and perhaps transform our
visions of liberation and radical freedom."
—Dylan Rodríguez, Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside
"This book is a tough, thoughtful, and passionate analysis of the colonization
of America and the resistance of Indigenous women. This book is not for those
who flinch from an honest examination of white supremacist history or who shy
away from today's controversies in the reproductive health and anti-violence
movements. Andrea Smith is one of this country's premiere intellectuals and
a good old-fashioned organizer—a rare combination that illuminates her
praxis and gift to social justice movement building in the 21st century."
"In Conquest, Andrea Smith reveals the deep connections between violence against Native women and state policies of environmental racism, sterilization, and other medical experimentation. Her exposé of how colonial ideology appropriates Native spirituality for the purposes of sexual exploitation is simply stunning. A must-read for everyone concerned about Native people and our Native world."
"Whether it is our reliance on the criminal justice system to protect
women from violence or the legitimacy of the U.S. as a colonial nation-state,
Andy Smith's incisive and courageous analysis cuts through many of our accepted
truths and reveals a new way of knowing rooted in Native women's histories of
struggle. More than a call for action, this book provides sophisticated strategies
and practical examples of organizing that simultaneously take on state and interpersonal
violence. Conquest is a 'must read' not only for those concerned with
violence against women and Native sovereignty, but also for antiracist, reproductive
rights, environmental justice, antiprison, immigrant rights and antiwar activists."
—Julia Sudbury, Canada Research Chair in Social Justice, Equity and Diversity, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto; Editor of Global Lockdown: Race, Gender and the Prison-Industrial Complex (Routledge 2005).