Talking Back To Civilization: Indian Voices from the Progressive Era / Edition 1

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As progressive reformers took on America’s ills at the start of the twentieth century, a new generation of Native American reformers took on America, "talking back" to the civilization that had overrun but not crushed their own. This volume offers a collection of 21 primary sources, including journal articles, testimony, and political cartoons by Native Americans of the Progressive Era, who worked in a variety of fields to defend their communities and culture. Their voices are organized into 7 topical chapters on subjects such as native religion, education, and Indian service in World War I. Spanning the period from the 1893 Columbian Expedition to the 1920s' congressional land hearings, this rich array of voices fills an important gap in the chronology of Native American studies. An engaging introduction focusing on the intellectual leaders of the protest efforts includes background on the Progressive Era, while headnotes for each document, striking illustrations, a chronology of major events, and a bibliography support the firsthand accounts.

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Editorial Reviews

Primary documents by Native American leaders help students understand how American Indians in the first decades of the 20th century inspired the survival indigenous cultures and identities. The most important source for the material is the of the Society of American Indians, an organization of educated Native Americans, founded in 1911, that lobbied for Indian citizenship and improved education. Essays from magazines, testimony from Congressional hearings, and talks by tribal leaders are also included. Each selection includes an introduction to the author and related events. A chronology, discussion questions, and b&w historical photos are included. Hoxie teaches history at the University of Illinois. The book is distributed by Palgrave. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312103859
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 1/19/2001
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 190
  • Sales rank: 730,554
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederick E. Hoxie is Swanlund Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Educated at Amherst College and Brandeis University, Dr. Hoxie has taught at Antioch College and Northwestern University. In addition he has been Director of the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History and Vice President for Research and Education at the Newberry Library. He is the author of A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880-1920 (1984), The Crow (1989), and Parading through History: The Making of the Crow Nation in America (1995). He has edited 7 books, including The Encyclopedia of North American Indians (1996). Dr. Hoxie has consulted for Indian tribes and government agencies; he is the former president of the American Society for Ethnohistory and served as a founding trustee of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

INTRODUCTION: American Indian Activism in the Progressive Era
Indian America, 1900
The "Antithesis of Civilization"
The Progressive Era
Indian Writers Respond
Indian Anthropologists
Defending Tribal Religions
Political Protests and Legal Challenges
Talking Back Brings Results
The Structure of This Book


Simon Pokagon, The Red Man's Greeting, 1893


Francis La Flesche on Boarding School, 1900

Laura Kellogg Attacks the Government's System of Indian Education, 1913

Henry Roe Cloud Presents an Alternative Vision of Indian Education, 1914.

Arthur C. Parker Argues for College Education for Indians, 1913


Zitkala Sa (Gertrude Bonnin) Defends Paganism, 1902

Charles Eastman Compares the Morality of Indians and Modern Christians, 1916.

Francis La Flesche and Fred Lookout Defend Peyote before Congress, 1918.


Carlos Montezuma Advocates the Abolition of the Indian Office, 1914.

Arthur Parker Indicts the Government for Its Actions, 1915.

The Society of American Indians Supports Tribal Claims, 1913.


Cartoons from the Quarterly Journal, 1913-1916

Chauncey Yellow Robe on the Wild West Shows, 1914.

Arthur Parker on the Alleged Racial Inferiority of Indians, 1914.


Carlos Montezuma on the Draft, 1917
Chauncey Yellow Robe on the War Effort, 1918.

Zitkala Sa on the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.

Charles Eastman Sees the End of War as the Moment to End the "Petty Autocracy" of the Indian Office, 1919.

Robert Yellowtail Calls for Self-Determination, 1919.


Ojibwe Leaders Protest Government Proposals to Abolish Their Reservation, 1920.

Sioux Leaders Protest the Leasing of Tribal Lands, 1920.

Winnebago Leaders Ask for Justice, 1922.


An Appeal for Fair Play and the Preservation of Pueblo Life, November 5, 1922.


Questions for Consideration

Chronology of Important Events for Native Americans in the Progressive Era (1890-1928)

Selected Bibliography


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