The Roots of Dependency: Subsistance, Environment, and Social Change among the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review

"Richard White’s study of the collapse into ‘dependency’ of three Native American subsistence economies represents the best kind of interdisciplinary effort. Here ideas and approaches from several fields—mainly anthropology, history, and ecology—are fruitfully combined in one inquiring mind closely focused on a related set of large, salient problems. . . . A very sophisticated study, a ‘best read’ in Indian history."—American Historical Review
Western Historical Quarterly

"The book is original, enlightening, and rewarding. It points the way to a holistic manner in which tribal histories and studies of Indian-white relations should be written in the future. It can be recommended to anyone interested in Indian affairs, particularly in the question of the present-day dependency plight of the tribes."—Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., Western Historical Quarterly
American Indian Quarterly

"The Roots of Dependency is a model study. With a provocative thesis tightly argued, it is extensively researched and well written. The nonreductionist, interdisciplinary approach provides insight heretofore beyond the range of traditional methodologies. . . . To the historiography of the American Indian this book is an important addition."—W. David Baird, American Indian Quarterly

— W. David Baird

American Indian Quarterly - W. David Baird

"The Roots of Dependency is a model study. With a provocative thesis tightly argued, it is extensively researched and well written. The nonreductionist, interdisciplinary approach provides insight heretofore beyond the range of traditional methodologies. . . . To the historiography of the American Indian this book is an important addition."—W. David Baird, American Indian Quarterly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803297241
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1988
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Richard White is a professor of history at the University of Washington. He is the winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association, the James A. Rawley Prize presented by the Organization of American Historians and the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians. His books include The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815, "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A History of the American West and The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps ix
List of Tables ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
1 The Choctaw Landscape 1
2 Choctaw Subsistence 16
3 The Evolution of the Choctaw Play-off System 34
4 Liquor and Deerskins: Consequences of the Market Economy 69
5 The Collapse of the Traditional Economy 97
6 The Pawnees 147
7 Natural and Cultural Order 157
8 Social Change and Environmental Change 178
9 The Pawnee Decline 199
10 The Navajos 212
11 Navajo Culture and Economy 236
12 Southwestern Development and Navajo Underdevelopment 250
13 The Navajos Become Dependent 290
Conclusion 315
Notes 324
Bibliographical Essay 405
Index 419
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