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Annotated Bibliography

Primary Sources


Kellwood, Joe. Personal Interview. December 28, 2004.

This interview with a code talker who joined the marines after Guadalcanal told me a lot about his life and what the war was really like. The interview was arranged with the help of Debra Utacia Krol and Vera Phillips of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs.

Little, Keith Morrison. Interview by phone, January 10, 2005.

This was an interview with one of the surviving code talkers. We hoped to get some first-hand information about the Navajo code talkers. Of all the things we discussed, the most useful information he provided was about his being recruited as a code talker, and his training with the code. We used this information on our “Building of the Code” page. Mr. Little also talked about his experience on Iowa Jima, and he told me about the difficulties he had communicating while he was a child at a missionary school. We used this information in our project as well. I was impressed that when he returned home he became a teacher and taught Navajo kids to speak English. I also was impressed that he would fight for his country when his people had been persecuted here.

Smith, Samuel. Internet Interview. January 10, 2005.

This interview with a code talker was not as helpful because I was unable to explain the questions to him. The answers were short and often raised additional questions. The interview took place during a winter gathering of  the Navajo Code Talker Association in Gallup, NM with the help of Susan Hansen.
Iverson, Peter, editor. “For Our Navajo People”:Dine Letters, Speeches and Petitions 1900 – 1960. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2002.

This book is a good primary source of letters from Navajo about military service, sheep reduction, the code and many other subjects.
Kawano, Kenji. Warriors Navajo Code Talkers. Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Publishing Company, 1990.

Lots of recent pictures of the code talkers with personal reflections on the war.

Macdonald, Peter with Schwarz, Ted. The Last Warrior: Peter MacDonald and the Navajo Nation. New York: Orion Books, 1993.

This is an autobiography of a code talker and a controversial Navajo leader after the war. 

Watson, Bruce. “ Jaysho, Moasi, Dibeh,Ayeshi, Hasclishnih, Beshlo, Shush, Gini.” Smithsonian Magazine. August, 1993: 24.
This article tells the story of the Code from the Navajo perspective – how they saw the war and what was going on, how they felt about many aspects of the war. There were many quotes from different code talkers, including Keith Morrison Little – we wanted to find some background information on Mr. Little before interviewing him for our project. The article appears on the internet as “War and Remembrance: Navajo Code Talkers” at
Internet Sources

Bingaman, Jeff, Senator. “The Ceremony.” Unknown publication date. Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM. 1/16/2005.
This page shows the ceremony when the President gave congressional gold medals to the five surviving “original 29” code talkers. There is a photo gallery from the ceremony, as well as an article by Senator Bingaman that describes the ceremony. It gave us the concluding quote by John Brown, Jr., to put on our “Homecoming” page.
Bingaman, Jeff, Senator. “The Men.” Unknown publication date. Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM. 1/16/2005.
This page provides actual black-and-white photos from World War II, some of which appear on our pages. These photos are of code talkers, some in war and some at camp, in various locations.
Lapahie, Harrison, Jr. “Diné Bizaad Yee Atah Naayéé' Yik'eh Deesdlíí'
(The Navajo Language assisted the military forces to defeat the enemy). 1997. Harrison Lapahie, Jr. 12/15/2004.

This website gave lots of general information about the Navajo people, as well as the code talkers. Its pages include a complete listing of all of the code talkers, lists of which ones were in the “original 29,” which ones died during the war, and which battles they died in. The site also has a page with the complete Navajo Code.

Secondary Sources

Aaseng, Nathan. Navajo Code Talkers. New York: Walker and Company, 1992.

A good book for covering the entire war and a brief bit about earlier on before the war.  The first book I read about Navajo code talkers. This book was a very helpful source. It was probably written for a young audience, but it would be interesting to adults as well. It gave us general information for most of our pages, especially about the building of the Navajo Code, Iwo Jima and other battles, and the code talkers’ homecoming. This source was really the backbone of the materials we had.

Bixler, Margaret T. Winds of Freedom: The story of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II. Connecticut: Two Bytes Publishing Company, 1992.

This is one of the best books on the code talkers during the war.

Boyce, George A. When the Navajo had too many Sheep: The 1940’s. San Francisco, California: The Indian Historian Press, 1974.

A great book on what happened during the livestock reduction.

Durrett, Deanne. Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1998.

A good book on the whole Navajo history focusing on the importance of the code talkers in the war.

Greenberg, Henry and Georgia. Power of a Navajo Carl Gorman: The Man and His Life. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers, 1996.
This book gave us almost all of the information we needed for our page on the mistreatment of Navajos at the missionary schools before the war. It also gave us a lot of quotes by Code Talker Carl Gorman.

Jones, Catherine. Navajo Code Talkers: Native American Heroes. Greensboro: Tudor Publishers, 1997.

A great book on the Navajo Code Talkers for easy reading or for beginners to read.

McCarty Teresa L. A Place to be Navajo. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002.

A good book on Navajo’s experiences and hardships in Missionary Schools.

McClain, Sally. Navajo Weapon. Tucson, Arizona: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 1981.

One of the best books on the subject, has good pictures and extremely informative.

Paul, Doris A. The Navajo Code Talkers. Pennsylvania:Dorrance, 1973.

I liked this book because it talked about the code talkers after not just during the war.

Pollock, Floyd A. A Navajo Confrontation and Crisis. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo Community College Press, 1984.

An informative source on pre-World War II Navajo life, culture, problems with the United States Government, and has good hand done drawings.

Russell, Francis. The Secret War. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1981.
This book focuses on spies and codes in World War II. It includes a two-page section on the Navajo Code.
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