That is my thought as I sat down to share some photos of pages from Rosemary Benet and Stephen Vincent Benet's A Book of Americans. I have no memory of how it came to be in my house. I probably got it at a yard sale or used book store.
Anyway--it came out in 1933 from Farrar and Rinehart. As I flipped through it, I thought it'd be an interesting blog post, so I took some photos. You'll understand why I wanted to share them. They are not the reason for the "Woah!" at the top of this post.
Here's the end papers as you open the book:
Here's the first page of the table of contents:
Here's the page on Crazy Horse:
Here's some of that text from the Crazy Horse page:
The Indians of the Wild West
We found were hard to tame,
For they seemed really quite possessed
To keep their ways the same.
They liked to hunt, they liked to fight,
And (this I grieve to say)
They could not see the white man's right
To take their land away.
Now. Why did I start this post with "Woah!"?
Henry Holt reissued the book in 1987.
I'm gonna say that again. Louder.
I can (mostly) ignore the customer reviews at Amazon ("Delightful." and "Excellent.") and of course, there's a lot to say about the illustrations and the poems, too...
But the idea that Henry Holt reissued it in 1987 floors me. Why did Henry Holt do that?! Why?
Update: adding this for Dhonielle Clayton who asked about depictions of African Americans: