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When I first read this book more than 50 years ago, I did not really appreciate it for the powerful book it really is, nor understood the full impact it made on the reading public at the time of its publication in the Ladies' Home Journal. Nor did I rate this book as highly as I did other Zane Grey novels; but with each successive reading the higher I place it against such work as Riders of the Purple Sage, or Heritage of the Desert. The Vanishing American IS a great work, one of ZG's finest. And whether you read the "original" as published by Harpers or the expurgated version which restores ZG's original ending and the more offensive sections dealing with the harsh treatment of the missionaries on the reservation, either one will stir you deep down to your very core. Marian Warner's and Nophaie's love story will reach you to your inner self, and the struggle the Indian faces as he battles for his soul in the face of Indian values verses the white man's will touch you and force you to look at your own relationship with God and nature. The Vanishing American is a book which needs to be read and studied by every American, and taught in the school system along with the history of the United States and its dealings with the Native Americans--a subject woefully disregarded in American History classes--except for Custer's last stand at the Little Big Horn. There is, nor has there ever been, a more powerful book dealing with this subject been written. And even though this one is fiction, and a romance, it tells it like it was, and for the most part afraid still is today on the Indian reservations. Indeed, a sad chapter in the nation's history. I cannot urge you enough to purchase this book!
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