This latest addition to Henry Steele Commager's and Richard Morris' New American Nation series is written by the author of...

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THE INDIAN IN AMERICA

This latest addition to Henry Steele Commager's and Richard Morris' New American Nation series is written by the author of Red Man's Land, White Man's Law, a long-time Indian scholar associated with the Smithsonian. Like his earlier book, this one is characterized by both superficiality of treatment and the kind of wishy-washy liberalism that -- like the equal-time provisions in television -- ends up without a responsible historical judgment. Partly this is the result of the format, which is too limited to admit even a cursory survey of Indian cultures and history before the coming of the white man; what data there is seems randomly chosen, and various theories (such as migration patterns from Asia) are presented without a clue as to which is currently accepted as most plausible. The skimming over of Andrew Jackson's genocidal practices, the capsule dismissal of the American Indian Movement, and the failure to even mention the intense controversy concerning tribal elections as they are currently conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, are evidence of the conservative bent of the book. Nor is the audience for which this is intended clear: it presupposes too much knowledge on the part of the reader to be a mere introduction, yet it is too cursory and slapdash for a specialized treatment.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974