Serving Their Country: American Indian Politics and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century

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Overview

Over the twentieth century, American Indians fought for their right to be both American and Indian. In an illuminating book, Paul C. Rosier traces how Indians defined democracy, citizenship, and patriotism in both domestic and international contexts.

Battles over the place of Indians in the fabric of American life took place on reservations, in wartime service, in cold war rhetoric, and in the courtroom. The Society of American Indians, founded in 1911, asserted that America needed Indian cultural and spiritual values. In World War II, Indians fought for their ancestral homelands and for the United States. The domestic struggle of Indian nations to defend their cultures intersected with the international cold war stand against termination—the attempt by the federal government to end the reservation system. Native Americans seized on the ideals of freedom and self-determination to convince the government to preserve reservations as places of cultural strength. Red Power activists in the 1960s and 1970s drew on Third World independence movements to assert an ethnic nationalism that erupted in a series of protests—in Iroquois country, in the Pacific Northwest, during the occupation of Alcatraz Island, and at Wounded Knee.

Believing in an empire of liberty for all, Native Americans pressed the United States to honor its obligations at home and abroad. Like African Americans, twentieth-century Native Americans served as a visible symbol of an America searching for rights and justice. American history is incomplete without their story.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

In this extensively researched and well-documented study, Rosier examines modern Native American political history within an international context.
— Deborah Dawson

Pacific Historical Review

Fascinating...This is an important book, certain to generate considerable discussion.
— Brian Hosmer

American Historical Review

Serving Their Country presents a compelling argument...Rosier has produced an important book that will provide scholars with much to engage, discuss, and debate.
— Daniel M. Cobb

Journal of American History

A fascinating study documenting how federal American Indian policies intersected with national and international issues...Although other historians have written about specific eras in which this intersection occurred, Rosier's intriguing and sweeping study adds much to the literature.
— Laurence M. Hauptman

Journal of American Studies

By putting Indian affairs in a broader, international context he does the field a great service.
— Joy Porter

Thomas Borstelmann
A superb, innovative book. The story of Native Americans in the Cold War is without doubt one of the most important in the relationship between race and foreign affairs, and Rosier is the first to tell it in full. Impressively researched and engagingly written, this book fills a major gap in the literature and will have widespread appeal.
Sherry L. Smith
This pathbreaking book offers a fresh perspective on twentieth-century Indian politics, patriotism, and tribalism by tracking important intersections between domestic and international affairs. The Cold War and global colonization movements emboldened Native Americans to demand their rights. Simultaneously, events required them to defend their homelands from enemies both within and without the country. To be Indian and American poses no contradiction, as Rosier so wisely points out, if the nation lives up to its ideals and its treaty obligations.
Booklist - Deborah Dawson
In this extensively researched and well-documented study, Rosier examines modern Native American political history within an international context.
Pacific Historical Review - Brian Hosmer
Fascinating...This is an important book, certain to generate considerable discussion.
American Historical Review - Daniel M. Cobb
Serving Their Country presents a compelling argument...Rosier has produced an important book that will provide scholars with much to engage, discuss, and debate.
Journal of American History - Laurence M. Hauptman
A fascinating study documenting how federal American Indian policies intersected with national and international issues...Although other historians have written about specific eras in which this intersection occurred, Rosier's intriguing and sweeping study adds much to the literature.
Journal of American Studies - Joy Porter
By putting Indian affairs in a broader, international context he does the field a great service.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674066236
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/3/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 630,117
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul C. Rosier is Associate Professor of History, Villanova University.
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Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Prologue: An Empire for Liberty
  • 1. Westward the Course of Empire
  • 2. The Defense of the Reservation
  • 3. World War II Battlegrounds
  • 4. The Cold War on the Indian Frontier
  • 5. Nation Building at Home and Abroad
  • 6. The Last Indian War
  • Epilogue: Indian Country in the Twenty-first Century
  • List of Archival Sources
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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