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Forgotten Founders by Bruce E. Johansen

               In FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS, Bruce Johansen has written an exciting book, one that broadens the basis of American history, enriches the national heritage, and deepens our understanding of the freedom we all share.

               Calling on Benjamin Franklin as his chief witness, Dr. Johansen shows us how the primitive, but surprisingly democratic and enlightened culture of the American Indian, clarified the thinking of immigrant colonists and even of the world beyond our shores -- a world tired of the elaborate hierarchies of kings and nobles and the inherited miseries of their subjects. To the European, America was another planet. Franklin saw in it the shadow of an imperfect but practical Utopia.

               During the first half of the eighteenth century, the Six Nations of the Iroquois were our allies in England's war with France. They may be seen as the friends and equals of our Colonial statesmen. On both sides, there were those who spoke the other's language fluently. White man and red man sat together around the Indian Council fires and the record of what they said exists today.

               Urged and assisted by Indian friends, as well as by the speculations of historians, Bruce Johansen went back to those records. When approached with the exchange of ideas as the key rather than that of arrows and bullets, the documents are rich in evidence. Dr. Johansen sees his study only as a beginning, but, in this first exploratory expedition, what he has found is a new and vital essence in the national character. The Sachem, as well as the Sage, had much to do with the nature of our life, our liberty and our pursuit of happiness.

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Bruce Elliott Johansen

               Dr. Bruce E. Johansen has his own roots in Seattle, where he worked documenting American Indian and Chicano history for a decade and a half. During that time he also worked as a newspaper reporter, a university professor and a community organizer, and earned a Ph.D. in Communications History at the University of Washington. FORGOTTEN FOUNDERS began as a doctoral dissertation in the communication of ideas between cultures.

               Born January 20, 1950, Johansen has lived in the Phillippines, Puerto Rico and several locations within the United States. He first worked as a reporter and a copyeditor with The Seattle Times (1970-1976), but has since freelanced for The Washington Post's Outlook section, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and several other newspapers and periodicals. He is currently Assistant Professor of Communications at the University of Nebraska.

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