H-Law Podcast Episode 7: Daniel Sharfstein

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A discussion with Daniel J. Sharfstein about his book Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard and the Nez Perce War (W.W. Norton & Company, 2017). Daniel Sharfstein is a professor of law and history and co-directs the George Barrett Social Justice Program at Vanderbilt University. Sharfstein’s scholarship focuses on the legal history of race in the United States. In this discussion, he explores ideas of law, society, and politics through his compelling narrative about the Nez Perce War.

:29 Author background

6:12 Research methods

13:11 The main characters

28:21 The nation’s pivot from emancipation to Jim Crow and empire

32:04 Developing ideas of citizenship in the US

36:26 How Native Americans were viewed under US law in the 1870s

38:36 Howard’s view of the proper scope of government

42:13 Howard’s vision for the Freedman’s Bureau

45:52 Chief Joseph vs. settlers in Ohio’s Wallowa Valley

52:10 How Chief Joseph navigated the U.S. power structure

57:26 Joseph’s war and government power

1:01:15 Howard at the Freedman’s Bureau and with the Nez Perce

1:04:24 Legacies of Oliver Otis Howard and Chief Joseph

1:12:39 Exploring ideas through individual’s experiences

1:14:33 The 19th Century and legal battles we are still fighting today

1:16:51 What Prof. Sharfstein is working on now