Herman J. Viola’s Warrior Spirit: The Story of Native American Heroism and Patriotism (University of Oklahoma Press, 168 pp. $19.95, paperback) is a unique and informative book. Aimed at young adults, the book is a quick-and-easy but fact-filled read. Viola, Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution and his four contributors—Debra Kay Mooney, Ellen Baumler, Cheryl Hughes, and Michelle Pearson—present a well-researched and illustrated history of the positive contributions Native Americans have made in all of the major U.S. military conflicts since the Revolutionary War.
When many people think of Native Americans efforts during wartime, they tend to focus on the Code Talkers during World War II. In Warrior Spirit, we learn that that that unique communications effort was first used during in Europe during the First World War,
There is a lot of other revealing information in this book, including stories of Medal of Honor recipients and little-known contributions made by Native Americans in the heat of battle.
Viola and company explain the warrior ethos of Native Americans, as well as their deeply held religious beliefs, and their respect for warriors and for other war fighters around them.
Warrior Spirit is a well-written and edited book from an author who has devoted much of his career to studying, teaching and writing about American Indian history and culture.