The American Indian Warrior Way in Words: Code Talker Chester Nez's New Memoir, Plus: 'Warriors in Uniform' and 'America's First Warriors'

A story on books about the American Indian warrior tradition, including the recent memoir by Original Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez.

One way to honor the service and sacrifice of our American Indian Warriors is to carry forth their stories. Introduced here are three tremendous recent books presenting these stories, including those of Original 29 Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez. 


By Chester Nez, with Judith Schiess Avila

Penguin, 2012

Gil Calac, Yakama Nation, a member of the Yakama Warriors

After the publication of his acclaimed book, Code Talker, Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez reflects on the path that took him to where he is today—from growing up on the New Mexico reservation steeped in the traditions of his Native American ancestors, to his days fighting alongside other Code Talkers, to his hardships and triumphs after the war. Here are stories of his family, then and now, tales of his close relationship to nature and her creatures, accounts of how his life and legacy have changed since publishing his memoir, and a tribute to his fallen friends. 

For further information, click here.

To purchase, click here.


By Steven Clevenger

Museum of New Mexico Press, 2010

Gil Calac, Yakama Nation, a member of the Yakama Warriors

A timely and moving book that beautifully documents the service of Native Americans in the armed forces. Interviews with Pueblo, Apache, Navajo, Osage, and other Native American service men and women give insight into the warrior spirit. Striking images capture stirring moments of war, grief, community, family bonds, and homecoming. 

For an NPR interview with the author, click here. For a slide show of photos by the author from the book, click here.

To purchase, click here.


By Herman J. Viola

National Geographic, 2008

Gil Calac, Yakama Nation, a member of the Yakama Warriors

Native Americans have served in the U.S. military during each of this country's wars, and their stories encompass heroism, tragedy, humor, stoicism, loyalty and conflict. This illustrated history tells the exploits of the last Confederate general—a Cherokee—to lay down his arms, the code talkers who used tribal languages to thwart the enemy in World War II, the first Native American woman to give her life as a soldier, and those serving in Iraq today. Spiritual, poignant, gripping, even shocking (warriors still took scalps in Vietnam), it reveals how ancient traditions of war persevere and how the warrior designation is a great honor to the Native American community. Packed with first person accounts and sharing little-known insights into a culture that is still misunderstood, this page-turning epic includes a stunning gallery of never-before-seen artifacts from personal collections.

For more info, click here.

To purchase, click here.