Native Americans

Arlene B. Hirschfelder

Book - 2000

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New York : Dorling Kindersley Pub 2000.
1st American ed
Physical Description
192 p. : ill. (some col.), col. maps. ; 29 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. 186) and index.
Main Author
Arlene B. Hirschfelder (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

This big, heavily pictorial book resembles a stop-frame documentary film. Historic photos crowd its pages, showing American Indian life from ancestral times to the present. Excerpts from Indian autobiographies offer the voices of Black Elk, Tecumseh, Louis Riel, Sarah Winnemucca, and others, and Hirschfelder's own text is concise and comprehensive. Differentiating the book from similar ones that concentrate on traditional lifeways is its strong focus on the war between the U.S. and the Indian nations, which left the latter confined to tiny shreds of land, on which poverty and despair often ruled. Yet the renewal and revitalization of some cultures, together with ongoing disputes over land and Indian rights, provide a hopeful ending to the often tragic overall story of dispossession and persecution. "Kill every buffalo you can. Every buffalo dead is an Indian gone," said a U.S. army colonel in 1870. Today, Wilma Mankiller, chief of the Cherokees, says, "Despite the last 500 years, there is much to celebrate." ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this profusely and creatively illustrated book, Hirschfelder, an award-winning author (Happily May I Walk: American Indians and Alaskan Natives Today) who was formerly with the Association for American Indian Affairs, responds to the insatiable demand for depictions of Indians and their ways of life. Text sections, arranged in a loose chronological order, include "A Conflict of Cultures," "Dispossession and Loss," "War Against Native Peoples," and "Resurgence and Renewal." Each section features vignettes from the history of Indian-white relations the massacre at Sand Creek, for example and illustrations and photographs that help tell the story. In "Native Voice" sections, readers are exposed to the thoughts of historical and contemporary Native American leaders as expressed in their speeches or writings. There is a great deal of information packed in these heavily illustrated pages, but not a lot of attention is paid to any single subject. An indifferent index fails to include much of the information found in picture captions. The book is best for browsers of Native American history. Recommended for general collections. Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Combines archival photographs and researched text to present a history of Native Americans that covers their conflicts and struggles through their spiritual life and adaptations to contemporary America.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Features major events and figures in Native American history, from the first contact with Europeans to Native Americans' role in contemporary society, and explains their religious beliefs and customs.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In a pictorial survey of early to contemporary Indian life, a non-Native authority presents several Native voices and images of traditional ways, conflict, dispossession, and cultural renewal. Includes a foreword by a tribal chairperson, map of Native American homelands, 1990 tribal census data, and resources. Though a good (and cheap) introduction to the subject, the book lacks the usual DK magnetism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (