Killing the White Man's Indian: The Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century

Overview

In the face of a new lightly romanticized view of Native Americans, Killing the White Man's Indian bravely confronts the current myths and often contradictory realities of tribal life today. Following two centuries of broken treaties and virtual government extermination of the "savage redmen," Americans today have recast Native Americans into another, equally stereotyped role, that of eternal victims, politically powerless and weakened by poverty and alcoholism, yet whose spiritual ties with the natural world ...

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Overview

In the face of a new lightly romanticized view of Native Americans, Killing the White Man's Indian bravely confronts the current myths and often contradictory realities of tribal life today. Following two centuries of broken treaties and virtual government extermination of the "savage redmen," Americans today have recast Native Americans into another, equally stereotyped role, that of eternal victims, politically powerless and weakened by poverty and alcoholism, yet whose spiritual ties with the natural world form our last, best hope of salvaging our natural environment and ennobling our souls.

The truth, however, is neither as grim , nor as blindly idealistic, as many would expect. The fact is that a virtual revolution is underway in Indian Country, an upheaval of epic proportions. For the first time in generations, Indians are shaping their own destinies, largely beyond the control of whites, reinventing Indian education and justice, exploiting the principle of tribal sovereignty in ways that empower tribal governments far beyond most American's imaginations. While new found power has enriched tribal life and prospects, and has made Native Americans fuller participants in the American dream, it has brought tribal governments into direct conflict with local economics and the federal government.

Based on three years of research on the Native American reservations, and written without a hidden conservative bias or politically correct agenda, Killing the White Man's Indian takes on Native American politics and policies today in all their contradictory—and controversial-guises."

In the bestselling tradition of Peter Matthiessen's Indian Country, this in-depth exploration of "Indian Country" today overturns the fallacies and myths surrounding Native Americans in the '90s. Media coverage.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A new generation of politically astute Native Americans is developing aggressive tribal governments bent on resuscitating once-moribund cultures and on managing federal programs without the paternalistic oversight of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Bordewich, a roving editor for Reader's Digest, who spent three years visiting reservations, believes that today's tribal sovereignty movement represents the best hope in decades for restoring economically crippled communities. Yet the movement, in his opinion, is tinged with separatist ideology and an ``overwhelming, largely irrational fear of yet more loss and betrayal.'' Arguing that in some states, Native Americans' claims to water and fishing rights and their demand for sacred lands pose a threat to local economies, Bordewich maintains that the sovereignty movement runs the risk of creating a multitude of independent statelets, some economically unviable and ill governed. His vibrant, compelling, diversified portrait of contemporary Native Americans dispels whites' lingering stereotypes of Indians either as permanent victims or as morally superior beings living in primeval, unchanging communion with nature. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385420365
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 701,544
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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  • Posted February 1, 2009

    A White Indian Endorses this Book

    I would highly recommend this easily readable and fun book to read. It is intellectually stimulating as much as any book I have ever read. Compared to most Indian books, they are either dripping with sentimentality or spewing about their abuse of alcohol, bad policy at gambling halls and other themes that are anti-Native American. I love this book as it shows the Indian as a human being, with all of their complexities, success stories, failures, and insights into today's Indians who are growing in political power, have good lobbies in Washington and are serving our country dis proportionally.

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