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The White Man's Indian

The White Man's Indian

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Add This - The White Man's Indian

Written by Robert F. BerkhoferAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Robert F. Berkhofer

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: February 12, 1979
  • Price: $11.96
  • ISBN: 978-0-394-72794-3 (0-394-72794-0)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Columbus called them "Indians" because his geography was faulty. That name and, more importantly, the images it has come to suggest have endured for five centuries, not only obscuring the true identity of the original Americans but serving as an ideological weapon in their subjugation. Berkhofer's account illustrates the self-serving stereotypes Europeans and white Americans have concocted about the "Indian": Noble Savage or bloodthirsty redskin, he was deemed inferior in the light of western, Christian civilization and manipulated for the benefit of his oppressor.

"A splendid inquiry into, and analysis of, the process whereby white adventurers and the white middle class fabricated the Indian to their own advantage."--Chronicle of Higher Education

"A compelling a definitive history...of racist preconceptions in white behavior toward native Americans."--Leo Marx, The New York Times Book Review

Table of Contents

Part One: The Idea of the Indian: Invention and Perpetuation
The Spanish Legacy of Name and Imagery
French and English Terms and Images
Significance of Indians as a General Category of Conception
Persisting Fundamental Images and Themes

Part Two: From Religion to Anthropology: The Genealogy of the Scientific Image of the Indian
Christian Cosmogony and the Problem of Indian Origins
Environmentalism and the Varieties of the Human Species in Enlightenment Thought
The Idea of Progress and the State of Savagery in the History of Mankind
Evolutionism and Primitive Peoples in 19th Century Anthropology
"Scientific" Racism and Human Diversity in 19th Century Social Sciences
Cultural Anthropology and the Modern Conception of Indians

Part Three: Imagery in Literature, Art, and Philosophy: The Indian in White Imagination and Ideology
European Primitivism, the Noble Savage, and the American Indian
Puritanism, the Wilderness, and Savagery as Divine Metaphors
The Indian and the Rise of an American Art and Literature
The Western and the Indian in Popular Culture
From Racial Stereotype to "Realism" in the Literary Indian

Part Four: Imagery and White Policy: The Indian as Justification and Rationale
The Colonial Foundations of White Indian Policy: Theory
The Colonial Foundations of White Indian Policy: Practice
Early United States Policy: Expansion with Honor
Expansion with Honor: Problems in Practice
Democracy, American Liberalism, and Indian Policy in the 19th Century
Democracy and Removal: Defining the Status of the Indian
Reservations and Allotment: Acculturation and Detribalization
A New Deal for Native Americans: Cultural Pluralism in Practice
The Modern Period: Historic Reversal or Reversion?