Indian Agriculture in America: Prehistory to the Present

Overview

This is a sweeping survey of American Indian agriculture from its ancient origins to the present. It combines a wealth of historical, anthropological, legal, and economic information in a clear, readable synthesis.

"This is without doubt the most thorough and comprehensive treatment of American Indian agriculture in print. It is multidisciplinary and impressive both in scope and in depth. Hurt shows a deft hand in summarizing not only the literature on the evolution of agriculture in North America, but also the ...

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Overview

This is a sweeping survey of American Indian agriculture from its ancient origins to the present. It combines a wealth of historical, anthropological, legal, and economic information in a clear, readable synthesis.

"This is without doubt the most thorough and comprehensive treatment of American Indian agriculture in print. It is multidisciplinary and impressive both in scope and in depth. Hurt shows a deft hand in summarizing not only the literature on the evolution of agriculture in North America, but also the dismal failure of American Indian policy to build on earlier Native American achievements. This book is the starting point for any serious consideration of the literature on subjects ranging from the domestication of corn, to pre-contact irrigation, to current Indian water rights."—Richard White, author of It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own.

"This extremely worthwhile work is a significant contribution to both Indian history and general American history."—Gilbert Fite, past president of the Agricultural History Society and the Western History Association.

"Merits the attention of all who are concerned about the past, present, and future of American Indians. The chapters devoted to the past century should be required reading for students of modern agricultural and American Indian history."—Peter Iverson, author of When Indians Became Cowboys: Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the American West.

"A very thorough and readable account. The scope of this work is truly impressive. The bulk of it revolves around the implementation of United States federal Indian policies aimed at transforming Native Americans into self-sufficient yeoman farmers and farm families during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hurt's chapters on Indian agriculture and water rights in the twentieth century are very timely and instructive. Should become a standard text for American Indian history courses."—New Mexico Historical Review.

"A useful introduction to the subject that is organized in an admirably clear fashion and can be recommended to student and specialist alike."—Journal of American History.

"Offers fresh and vital insights into the life and culture of the American Indian."—American Historical Review.

"A comprehensive, authoritative account of one of the most significant topics in the history of Indian-white relations."—Western Historical Quarterly.

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Editorial Reviews

New Mexico Historical Review
A very thorough and readable account. The scope of this work is truly impressive.
Journal of American History
A useful introduction to the subject that is organized in an admirably clear fashion. Recommended for student and specialist alike.
American Historical Review
Offers fresh and vital insights into the life and culture of the American Indian.
Western Historical Quarterly
A comprehensive, authoritative account of one of the most significant topics in the history of Indian-white relations.
Library Journal
For more than 300 years white Americans have tried unsuccessfully to turn American Indians into farmers. The resounding failure of this policy is especially notable because America's first inhabitants were skilled horticulturalists. In this synthesis of the history of Indian agriculture, the author clearly demonstrates how the state and federal governments, pressured by land-hungry settlers, systematically destroyed native farming systems and attempted to impose European methods. The resulting complexity of reservation land arrangements, poor education, and lack of adequate financing made farming impractical for most Native Americans today. Recommended for academic libraries. Mary B. Davis, Museum of the American Indian, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700608027
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

1. Mesoamerican Origins

2. Prehistoric Agriculture

3. Eastern Farming at the Time of European Contact

4. The Trans-Mississippi West

5. Land Tenure

6. The Alienation of Indian Lands

7. Agricultural Aid and Education

8. From the Civil War to Severalty

9. The White Man's Road

10. Good Intentions

11. The Indian New Deal

12. The Termination Era

13. Quagmires

14. Epilogue

Notes

Bibliographical Note

Index

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