The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and U. S. Indian Policy / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 87%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $2.79   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   


Not long after the white man stepped ashore in North America he began killing Indians and pushing those that survived farther and farther west. And what of his conscience? Well, he invented a convenient explanation: Indians are a vanishing race, doomed to extinction anyway.

That belief not only persisted, writes historian Brian Dippie, but it also spread throughout American culture. Soon the "vanishing Indian" appeared in science, literature, art, popular culture, and, most importantly, federal policy.

"The assumption that the Indians are a vanishing race has about it the quality of self-fulfilling prophecy," Dippie writes. In this classic study, first published in 1982, he traces the origins of this assumption and documents its insidious effects on U.S. policy toward Indians from the beginning of the nation's history through the Indian New Deal of the 1930s. He describes its role in early attempts at civilization and education, segregation of Indians west of the Mississippi, post-Civil War reform, the Dawes Act and allotment, the gradualism of early twentieth-century policy, the reform movement of the 1920s, John Collier's Indian Reorganization Act, and into the 1970s.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
A remarkably fine book. Enlightening and delightful.
American Indian Quarterly
Totally absorbing.
Pacific Historian
A model study in the history of American ideas. A distinguished contribution to American History.
Canadian Review of American Studies
The best study of American cultural attitudes regarding the Indian produced to date. Written in a clear and enjoyable style.
Pacific Historical Review
Should be on the reading list of every course on the history of the American Indian.
Books of the Southwest
Deserves a place on the shelves of anyone concerned with the status of Indians today.
Reprint of the respected Wesleyan University Press edition of 1982. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700605071
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 446
  • Sales rank: 1,190,297
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents



A Note on Numbers

Part I. And Then There Were None: A "Bold, but Wasting Race" of Men

1. Their Power Has Been Broken: The Indian After the War of 1812

2. The Anatomy of the Vanishing American

3. The Pathology of the Vanishing American

Part II. Isolation: Indian Policy Before the Civil War

4. Making Good Neighbors: Segregation in Indian Policy

5. A Magnanimous Act of Interposition: Indian Removal

Part III. The Non-vanishing American

6. Red, White, and Black

7. Can He Be Saved? Environmentalism and Evolution

8. He Can Be Saved: Agriculture and Education

9. The Convenient Extinction Doctrine: A Crusade Against the Vanishing American

Part IV. Assimilation: Indian Policy Through World War I

10. In Search of the One True Answer: Indian Policy After the Civil War

11. A New Order of Things: The General Allotment Act

12. A Matter of Administration: Indian Policy's Confident Years

Part V. And Then There Were None: A Superseded Race

13. We Have Come to the Day of Audit: The Vanishing American Returns

14. Now or Never Is the Time: Cultural Extinction and the Conservationist Impulse

15. There Will Be No "Later" For the Indian: Amalgamation and the Vanishing Race

Part VI. Choice: Indian Policy Through World War II

16. To Each Age Its Own Indian: The 1920s and the Changing Indian

17. To Plow Up the Indian Soul: The Indian Reorganization Act

18. It Is Only Well Begun: The New Deal Legacy

Epilogue: We Live Again



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)