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Killing the White Man’s Indian: Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century

Indian Country is experiencing a revolution of epic proportions whereby every aspect of Indian life—from the resurgence of traditional religions and cultures to the aggressive development of tribal governments—is being transformed. This provocative book peels back some of the layers of distortion that blur our vision of American Indians in the 1990s and shows that the transformation taking place in “Indian Country” is much more than just a passing phenomenon at the margins of American society. This in-depth exploration of Indian Country, based on four years of research on Native American reservations, overturns the fallacies and myths surrounding the Indians and reveals the realities of tribal life today and its effect on American society in the future.

“Well written, moving and stimulating.”
—The New York Times (Read complete NY Times review)

“Bordewich has written an honest, courageous book...He has masterfully articulated the questions that Indians, the federal government and the American people as a whole must face in regard to Indian identity and Indian sovereignty in the 21st century.” —The Washington Post

“A revolution is underway in Indian Country (Bordewich suggests)...a revolution little noticed by the national media or general public...Native Americans have begun to shape their own destinies...They are ‘killing the white man’s Indian,’ disproving the myths and stereotypes that have virtually always colored European-derived peoples’ thinking about natives of the New World. The book is well written.... the story he has to tell is a complicated one.” —The Boston Globe

“It isn’t possible in a few paragraphs to do justice to Fergus M. Bordewich’s important book ... (He is) evenhanded and thorough.” —Arizona Daily Star

“...full of insights and telling anecdotes.” —Tulsa Oklahoma World

“(Bordewich’s) vibrant, compelling, diversified portrait of contemporary Native Americans dispels whites’ lingering stereotypes of Indians either as permanent victims or as morally superior beings living in primeval, unchanging communion with nature.” Publishers Weekly

“An incisive look at troubles simmering in the Indian nations that... is full of insights and telling anecedotes. The result is a more evenhanded... book than Peter Matthiesen’s ‘Indian Country’, alongside which this worthy volume should be shelved.” Kirkus Reviews

“A stunning and well-documented insight into the rich mosaic that (Bordewich) calls ’the revolution underway in Indian Country’ in the 1990s....This is a hopeful book. Bordewich believes that when we strip away the historical myths, we can see the future of the native American as ‘irrevocably intertwined with that of other Americans.’” —St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

“An excellent introduction for anyone who wishes to understand the historical context and contemporary signifigance of the politics of ’Indian Country.’ ” —Richard Slotkin, Professor, Wesleyan University, author of Gunfighter Nation

Killing the White Man’s Indian could become as powerful in shaping public perceptions of and attitudes toward American Indians as did Vine Deloria’s Custer Died for Your Sins and Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee a generation ago. Bordewich unflinchingly exposes realities that most people, including writers and historiansm ignore or gloss over with qualified language. There is much here to anger Indians and whites alike and to trouble everyone. But here too, bared with extraordinary clarity, are the issues with which all Indians and the American Society at large must deal as we approach a new century.” —Robert M. Utley, Author of The Lance and the Sword: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull