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An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873, by Benjamin Madley, is the first full account of the government sanctioned genocide of California Indians under United States rule. It has been widely praised as groundbreaking, raising fundamental questions about how Californians and Americans think of themselves and their history.
Between 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Madley is the first to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, the taxpayer dollars that supported it, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive history of an American genocide.