Kindred by Choice: Germans and American Indians since 1800

Kindred by Choice: Germans and American Indians since 1800

by H. Glenn Penny

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How do we explain the persistent preoccupation with American Indians in Germany and the staggering numbers of Germans one encounters as visitors to Indian country? As H. Glenn Penny demonstrates, that preoccupation is rooted in an affinity for American Indians that has permeated German cultures for two centuries. This affinity stems directly from German polycentrism, notions of tribalism, a devotion to resistance, a longing for freedom, and a melancholy sense of shared fate.
Locating the origins of the fascination for Indian life in the transatlantic world of German cultures in the nineteenth century, Penny explores German settler colonialism in the American Midwest, the rise and fall of German America, and the transnational worlds of American Indian performers. As he traces this phenomenon through the twentieth century, Penny engages debates about race, masculinity, comparative genocides, and American Indians' reactions to Germans' interests in them. He also assesses what persists of the affinity across the political ruptures of modern German history and challenges readers to rethink how cultural history is made.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469607658
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/12/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 392
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

H. Glenn Penny is associate professor of history at the University of Iowa and author of Objects of Culture: Ethnology and Ethnographic Museums in Imperial Germany.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction Beyond the Buckskin 1

Part I Origins and Transformations across the Nineteenth Century 25

1 From Cooper to Karl May-Recast 29

2 Accommodating Violence 69

3 Changes in the Lands 96

4 Modern Germans and Indians 127

Part II Consistencies across Twentieth-Century Ruptures 157

5 Instrumentalization across Political Regimes 163

6 Race, Character, and Masculinity before and after Hitler 199

7 Comparative Genocides 229

8 Receptions in Native America 252

Conclusions: What Persists 290

Notes 297

Bibliography 339

Index 365

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From the Publisher

Glenn Penny provides readers with a beautifully written and pathbreaking transnational history. Using a combination of ethnographic observation, archival research, and literary interpretation, he uncovers and links many surprising and fascinating aspects of the relationship of Germans to Native Americans.—Andrew Zimmerman, author of Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South

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