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

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Overview


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.

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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.
Booknews
Reprint of the respected Wesleyan University Press edition of 1982. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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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: 1,058,574
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface

Acknowledgments

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

Notes

Index

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