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Publisher's Summary

Standing Rock Sioux activist, professor, and attorney Vine Deloria, Jr., shares his thoughts about US race relations, federal bureaucracies, Christian churches, and social scientists in a collection of 11 eye-opening essays infused with humor. This "manifesto" provides valuable insights on American Indian history, Native American culture, and context for minority protest movements mobilizing across the country throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Originally published in 1969, this book remains a timeless classic and is one of the most significant nonfiction works written by a Native American.

©1969, 1988, 1997 Vine Deloria, Jr.; copyright renewed 1997 by Vine Deloria, Jr. (P)2019 Tantor

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The best place to start to understand the US

If you want to better understand why the American continues to make bad decisions domestically & internationally then listen to this book. It will explain the history of your country to you from a position you can't imagine. Many of the ideas have come to pass and others are still in action, not all of them good, this book says even more now than it did in 1969.

6 people found this helpful

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Perspective is always biased... but seriously...

According to Vine Deloria, Christians poison everything that they touch and can-do-nothing-right. And-if-natives-only-had-the-chance-they-would-make-the-right-moral-choice-as-a-matter-of-course. Nieve utopian

5 people found this helpful

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A million tiny caucasian christian tears

At its core, this book lays bare the incontrovertible facts, that the American government has never honored a treaty with native peoples, they have never regarded native peoples with anything like an equal status, and that conservatives and liberals alike have abused, cajoled and patronized natives into within an inch of their lives. Only through the perverted prism of white christian supremacy, (the *original* identity politics), can the obvious be ignored.

Throughout the book, the author presents examples of the ignorance and/or inability of American policy and policymakers, both malicious and well-intentioned, which resulted in abject failure. At the center of it all, is the refusal to acknowledge self-identity in determining the future. Always cast in a narrow American notion of civilization or success or wealth, such programs were always bound to fail. Even the notion that all civil rights fights must be in lockstep gets a sound thrashing. The histories are not the same, and cannot be addressed necessarily by the same means.

But by far, the most enjoyable part of the book are the anecdotes of the missionaries. The story of the young woman who claimed she had to de-program the Baptist teachings from a tribe, before she could inculcate them with her dogma, is especially hilarious. As Christianity is fading in American life, these stories, written 50 years ago, illustrate how patently absurd are the religious traditions in this country. The rampant denominationalism and the willingness to sacrifice the souls of certain tribes to other factions, in order to get a piece of the pie for their sect, exposes the hypocrisy of western religion.

The only minor quibble I'd make is that that author incorrectly uses terms like Anglo-Saxon and WASP. It may be that he's using the terms in their racially-charged context, as a construct of white supremacy, excluding all but the "purest". But Anglo-Saxons as a discrete group of people have not actually existed in a millennium.

2 people found this helpful

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20th. century historical native issues.

Vince Deloria JR. was expert and perfectly astute in explaining the problems and issues affecting Native American tribes in they're struggle for native solutions with the U.S., government.

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Could have been written in the last decade

It's striking and sad to realize how little the State has changed regarding meaningful regard for the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. But they only makes this book more necessary and it's a great reader by a brilliant author wirh with an exceptional narrator.

1 person found this helpful