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Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928 Paperback – October 30, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0700608386 ISBN-10: 0700608389

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (October 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700608389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700608386
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Education for Extinction delivers on the promise of its title. This is a thorough and thoughtful study of the federal government's Indian education program that was explicitly aimed at extinguishing a culture. That it failed testifies to a deficient understanding of cultural dynamics as well as to the durability of Indian culture. An important contribution to the literature of Indian-white relations."--Robert M. Utley, author of The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull

"Adams has achieved something remarkable here: he offers a great deal of information on an important and difficult historical topic while never losing sight of its human dimension. Persuasive and moving, his book is full of good stories that should appeal to the general public."--Brian Dippie, author of The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and U.S. Indian Policy

"An outstanding contribution to the field of Indian history and the history of Indian education."--Robert Trennert, author of The Phoenix Indian School: Forced Assimilation in Arizona, 1891-1988

About the Author

David Adams is associate professor of education at Cleveland State University and the author of chapters in Leonard Dinnerstein and Kenneth Jackson's American Vistas: 1877 to the Present and Philip Weeks's Native American Experience.

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Customer Reviews

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I read this book for a report I had to do in a graduate class.
Kelsey
The book thoroughly describes the main people and inspiration between the ideas and consequently implementation of boarding schools.
Bernd, Graduate Social Work Student
I found Education for Extinction to be a well written, informative, yet fairly easy read.
Grad Student

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on October 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This all too true account of the reeducation process which American government officials euphemistically had Indian children go through is very chilling. It is maddening to believe there were people in Washington who actually considered such treatment of kids to be 'good policy'.

While reading through this book, I was gennuinely driven to tears. The tactics which were used on the kids were what was 'savage'. Ethnocentrism and racism kept the United States government and its representatives from seeing the Indians as a civilized and advanced society.

The primary and secondary sources which David Wallace Adams cites emphasize that the 'pupils' were not naive and passive victims of these abuses. Predating the American Indian Movement of the 1960's and 1970's, they resisted the 'education' which these schools were trying to shove down their own throats.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "edukate2000" on April 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
I chose to read this text for a special assignment for a graduate level curriculum overview course. This book takes one through the historical journey of how American Indians came to be apart of the U.S. colossal education system. American Indian education is the only Federal education system model that exits. With the push for more Federal leadership in schools due to No Child Left Behind legislation, this book can help future (and current) educators scrutinize how successful the federal government has been in the past and present in implementing a standardized education system.
Whether your interest is due to academic reasons or personal interests, I highly recommend this book. The book is divided into four parts: Civilization; Education; Response; and Causatum. Chapter five entitled "Classroom" describes the evolution of the 'standard' curriculum that was decided to be the best/most successful for American Indian children. This curriculum mainly had its birth at the Carlisle Industrial Indian School in Carlisle, PA. That school became a model for the several off reservation boarding schools that were to follow.
Adams' research for his text is extremely thorough. Many times American Indians are currently worried when they see texts that have an anthropology 'feel' about them. This text uses many primary sources such as actual letters from the students at schools and excerpts from actual conversations between teachers and children, their parents, and school administrators. Such as this excerpt from Irene Stewart, "...By the time I graduated from the sixth grade I was a well-trained worker...By evening I was too tired to play and just fell asleep wherever I sat down.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dale W. Boyer on July 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
A fascinating -- and heartbreaking -- look at the cultural devastation ensuing from the efforts of many well-meaning educators intent on "civilizing" Native Americans. Beautifully written, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, this book is a splendid and welcome examination of one of our contry's most shameful episodes.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Gibson on February 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
The outlook was hubris. The deep motive was greed. The set-up was civilization vs savagry. First came the land grabs, coupled with the troops and the missionaries, bearing THE WORD, and the word could not be in Apache, and some whips to back up the loving deity. Then came the schools, on the res, near the res, and in distant towns. The curricula was standardized, identities stolen--in name and body. Some kids managed to assimilate, many died, some burned down the schools. Truants were chased down like fugitive slaves. Free inquiry rooted in the natural curiosity of children, rising from their particular experiences, banned. What struck me about this incisive piece of educational and cultural history was how much the Indian Schools look like so many public schools today. What those white folks did seems to have come around and bit them, so gently they don't even notice. I hope my students like this as much as I did.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dizziey on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me by my academic advisor, as it is considered an important and influential treatise on the subject of Native American education. David Wallace Adams, in his groundbreaking book, "Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928," shows how the case for education was made. First, Euro-Americans believed that the older generation of Indians was incapable of becoming civilized and were too attached to their old ways to change. The youthfulness of Indian children meant they could still be saved.
Secondly, education quickened the process of cultural evolution from savagism to civilization. Isolating the children, many felt, would help to reduce the influence of their tribes and their traditional cultures. Lastly, education helped prepare the Indians for self-sufficiency.
I really enjoy this book as it is extremely well written. Adams, unlike some historians, did not use too many jargons and his writing is easy to understand. Adams also provided background information for readers who are not proficient in this subject matter. In addition, "Education for Extinction" was heavily researched and well-documented.
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