Making The White Man's Indian

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In this new study, author Angela Aleiss traces the history of Native Americans on the silver screen, and breaks new ground by drawing on primary sources such as studio correspondence, script treatments, trade newspapers, industry censorship files, and filmmakers' interviews to reveal how and why Hollywood created its Indian characters. Behind-the-scenes anecdotes of filmmakers and Native Americans, as well as rare archival photographs, supplement the discussion, which often shows a stark contrast between depiction and reality.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[D]raws on behind-the-scenes material such as correspondence, evolving scripts, studio publicity materials, reactions from film critics and Native American groups, and records of the self-censorship organization, to cast new light on the portrayal of Native Americans in US films."


Reference & Research Book News/Art Book News Annual

"The literature includes dozens of books on the Hollywood Western, and perhaps a dozen just on the representation of Native Americans in Hollywood film….[t]he writing and research are scrupulous and engaging. Highly recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, general readers."



"While Aleiss's book is a serious study, it is lively and very readable, full of little-known facts and anecdotes that add interest to its analysis….[M]aking the White Man's Indian is a useful addition for most libraries."


Multicultural Review

"Making the White Man's Indian reminds us that films were made to make money and that they reflected whatever niche Indians occupied in the American attitude toward Indians and minorities at the time the films were made. Professor Aleiss explains why Hollywood representation of Indians has swung back and forth between the Indian-as-savage and the Indian-as-noble and sympathetic. Portraying Indians as people is not new….Hollywood may shape images but it responds in a cultural context. Her reviews of many obscure or forgotten films are a bonus….[b]elongs in the mainstream of current interpretations of Indian representations."


NDO North Dakota Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275983963
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

ANGELA ALEISS is a contributing writer for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter. She is a former postdoctoral fellow at the American Indian Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Toronto.

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Table of Contents

1 Hollywood and the silent American 1
2 A cultural division 19
3 Indian adventures and interracial romances 39
4 War and its Indian allies 59
5 Red becomes white 81
6 A shattered illusion 101
7 Savagery on the frontier 119
8 Beyond the western 141
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