Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Navajo Code Talkers

Book: The Navajo Code Talkers
Author: Bruce Watson
Edition: eReader on Overdrive from the Fresno County Library
Read: December 9, 2014

25 pages
Rated: 3  out of 5

This pamphlet size booklet gives the reader an overview of Native Americans who played a vital role in keeping American communications secret during World War II. It outlines their experiences, both before, during and after the war.

From other sources, such as Wikipedia, some of the wording seems almost identical.

The reason to fight on the side of the united States was not really clear to me. The reason given was that the past wrongs were social conflicts. But the Japanese fighting against the United States involved Mother Earth being dominated by foreign countries. I would think the Navajo would consider the whites of the united States as a foreign power which had invaded their land. A fuller explanation would have been good.

In talking about the Navajo language Watson quotes a native speaker as saying words paint a picture in your mind. This seems similar to what Temple Grandin  talks about in her book on autism,  Thinking in Pictures. I do not think there is a connection-there is not enough in Navajo Code Talkers to tell. But just the similarities in phrasing really makes it seem like there is.

This pamphlet, I hesitate in calling it a book, gives you a quick view of the role the Navajo people played in World War II, despite the injustices inflicted on them by the United States. As a pamphlet, this document is more into telling about rather than understand the people. Even the telling about is more of a terse statement of what happened. So it is a good introduction to this history, but it did not leave me wanting more-I have that from other readings I have done over the years.

New Words:

  • Dineh (5)-The People, Navajo

Good Quotes:

  • First Line: Cloaked in secrecy and syntax, code machines were the pride of World War II cryptographers.
  • Last Line:And they spoke Navajo.


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