THE AMERICAN INDIAN: The First Victim by Jay -- Ed. David


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A slim and random collection by a prolific scissors-and-paste editor (Black Joy, Growing Up African, Growing Up Black, Growing Up Jewish, etc.) just in time to join the trendy liberal mea culpas on mistreated Indians. David doesn't even wait for the originals to topple off the best-seller lists -- e.g., the current collection includes excerpts from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Memoirs of Chief Red Fox, and Vine Deloria's We Talk You Listen as well as some wholly (and deservedly) obscure excerpts from novels and poems. The themes are by now familiar: the Indian's oneness with nature; the deceitfulness of paleface; broken treaties; the rapacity of the despoilers who forget that ""the earth was their mother""; the lack of private property and class structure in Indian communities; the love of children; the ignominy of reservation life; the pain of assimilation, in sum it adds up to nothing more than a few more pious tears on the bitter fate of the noble savage -- even a cursory history of U.S. Indian policies is lacking and the material is presented in an unordered scramble under misleading headings. ""This American/ he has sold me things/ I don't need"" says the Indian poet -- among them, this book.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1972
Publisher: Morrow