Wilkins has written the first general study of contemporary Indians in the U.S. from the disciplinary standpoint of political science. His inclusion of legal matters results in sophisticated treatment of many contemporary issues involving Native American governments and the government of the U.S., and gives readers a good background for understanding other questions. The writing is clear—not a minor matter in such a complex subject—and short case histories are presented, plus links (including websites) to many sources of information. Intended for undergraduates, but also valuable for graduate students, researchers, and the serious general public.
Wilkins has covered all the bases in his study of tribal governments and even informed us of topics we never suspected were important. This study is a thoroughly comprehensive look at a very complex subject and deserves wide distribution and readership. It is a treasure house of information that is essential for any library on Indian legal and political affairs.
Anyone wanting to learn more about the historical context in which contemporary tribal governments exist will find this book enormously useful. It covers a vast amount of material ranging from culture and spirituality to the complex relationship between tribal governments and the U.S. The book is an important addition to any library. I highly recommend it.
Wilkins' comprehensive book executes a paradigm shift by elevating Indian governments to their proper status as full, sovereign partners in the federal system and, thus, also as important subjects for students of political science and intergovernmental relations. Wilkins treats tribal governments and their intergovernmental relations seriously rather than devaluing them as mere reservations, federal dependents, another species of local government, or adjuncts to an ethnic rights movement. Although rendered stateless during the years of conquest, trusteeship, assimilation, and termination, they remianed nations because they remain 'peoples.' But are they to remain peoples without states? Wilkins' book is a step toward reconstruction.
Wilkins' contribution to the study of American Indian politics is a major one. American Indian Politics and the American Political System is well-written and organized. The book is written from a cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary perspective.
The first two editions of American Indian Politics and the American Political System were perhaps the best works available on the topic. They offered comprehensive coverage of topics ranging from the history of federal policy and tribal political economy to the various political actors and use of the media, were written in a manner that made sense of a difficult topic, and were extremely accessible. The third edition promises even better coverage and perspective with the addition of coauthor Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark….[T]here are relatively few changes from the first two editions, but they are important. The most notable change is merely the updating of information. American Indian politics/policy operates in a rapidly evolving and changing environment, making an update necessary. The book also differs in that the coauthor is able to introduce a different perspective, primarily in issues pertaining to Native women. Overall, the structure and topics covered remain essentially the same, which is good. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and graduate students.
An enormous undertaking in which David Wilkins has succeeded brilliantly. Nowhere else does the depth of political analysis and contextualization of the present circumstances of indigenous tribes and nations appear. . . . Comprehensive, unquestionably original, and long overdue.
Fills a very important need for informative, unsentimental scholarship on American Indian politics.
The worlds of scholarship and action have been waiting for a book like this. Wilkins has mastered a hugely complicated range of topics with insight, care, and sheer diligence. This is the perfect textbook for any course on contemporary native policy.
David E. Wilkins's American Indian Politics and the American Political System. . . is the go-to book both as an American Indian studies text and for scholars as reference material. Covering an enormous subject area, Wilkins manages to be both comprehensive and concise. There likely is no better source of accurate information about American Indian law, politics, economics, history and even sociology on the market today. Matthew L.M. Fletcher in Wicazo SA Review, 2009
This book is a lively and accessible account of the remarkably complex legal and political situation of American Indian tribes and tribal citizens (who are also U.S. citizens). Wilkins and Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark have provided the “go to” source for a clear, yet detailed and sophisticated, introduction to tribal sovereignty and federal Indian policy. It is a valuable resource both for readers unfamiliar with the subject matter, and for readers in Native American Studies and related fields, who will appreciate the insightful and original scholarly analysis of the authors.
American Indian Politics is simply an indispensable compendium of fact and reason on the historical and modern landscape of American Indian law and policy. No teacher or student of American Indian studies, no policymaker in American Indian policy, and no observer of American Indian history and law should do without this book. There is nothing in the field remotely as comprehensive, usable, and balanced as Wilkins and Stark's work.