Grave Matters: Excavating California’s Buried Past

Grave Matters: Excavating California’s Buried Past
Paperback, 6 x 9, with 42 images and maps, 256 pages.
ISBN: 9781597141628.

By Tony Platt

Whether by curious Boy Scouts and “backyard archaeologists” or competitive collectors and knowledge-hungry anthropologists, the excavation of native remains is a time-honored practice fraught with injustice and simmering resentments.

Grave Matters is the history of the treatment of native remains in California and the story of the complicated relationship between researcher and researched. Tony Platt begins his journey with his son’s funeral at Big Lagoon, a seaside village in pastoral Humboldt County in Northern California, once O-pyúweg, a bustling center for the Yurok and the site of a plundered native cemetery. Platt travels the globe in search of the answer to the question How do we reconcile a place of extraordinary beauty with its horrific past?

Grave Matters centers around the Yurok people and the eventual movement to repatriate remains and reclaim ancient rights, but it is also a universal story of coming to terms with the painful legacy of a sorrowful past.

Reviews

“A new edition on the tenth anniversary of Tony Platt's extraordinary work, Grave Matters, could not come at a more important moment when the precariousness of the planet itself recalls the genocide unleashed by European and Euroamerican colonialism that endures and continues to haunt descendants of the perpetrators, many of whom engage in ghoulish thefts of the remains of the dead. In his own grieving for a lost son, Platt enters a circle of grieving in the Yurok nation, becoming a powerful voice for decolonization and the protection of Indigenous grave sites.” Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
+ Show all reviews

About the Author

Tony Platt

Tony Platt

Tony Platt is the author of ten books and more than 150 essays and articles on race, inequality, and social justice in American history, among them Bloodlines: Recovering Hitler’s Nuremberg LawsFrom Patton’s Trophy to Public Memorial, and The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency, which was reissued as a fortieth-anniversary edition in 2009. Platt, now a professor emeritus, taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Sacramento, where he received awards for teaching and scholarship. He has been a visiting professor at Chuo University, Tokyo, and at Queen’s University, Belfast, and was a visiting researcher at the Huntington Library and the National Museum of American History. Platt has written for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Truthdig.com, the History News Network, Z Magazine, Monthly Review, and the Guardian, and his commentaries have aired on NPR. His publications have been translated into four languages. Tony Platt lives in Berkeley and Big Lagoon, California.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

HEYDAY IS AN INDEPENDENT, NONPROFIT PUBLISHER AND A DIVERSE COMMUNITY OF WRITERS AND READERS.

P.O. Box 9145Berkeley, CA 94709(510) 549-3564

vertical logo for Heyday Books

Newsletter Sign Up

------------------
ad

SPECIAL OFFER

20% OFF SITE – WIDE

Use code heyday20 at checkout!

click here to copy code

Privacy Preference Center