Historian Deloria argues that the concept of the Native American remains frozen in stereotype: a monolithic group that is violent and warlike, unable to grasp technology or feel at ease in contemporary society. Focusing on the popular culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in a series of essays, he shows that even as American Indians participated in technology, images of their supposed "primitive" state began to solidify. One cogent essay examines why native people would decide to join revues like Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show as historical reenactors. A lovely composition about Deloria's grandfather leads the author into a longer meditation on Indian athleticism. Other chapters examine the juxtaposition of Indians and technology, and the use of native melodies in film and opera. The combination of Deloria's readable style and his impressive collection of data makes this title a must for those interested in the politics of representation. Rebecca MakselCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Deloria is as good a cultural historian as there is writing today. Here he takes what in lesser hands would be the ephemera of American Indian life and uses it to illuminate a whole world not apart from American society but locked in the heart of it." - Richard White, author of It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A History of the American West "A provocative, intriguing, and fascinating book that demonstrates a new sophistication in cultural studies about identity and power, continuity and change, and authenticity and artifice." - George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger "Deloria's endpoint is to quiz stereotypes for their impact on ideological discourse, which he accomplishes with humor, grace, and depth. Highly recommended." - Choice "Subtle and complex, this fascinating, well-researched book will no doubt find its way into unexpected places of honor in American cultural studies." - Santa Fe New Mexican "An excellent book that reveals a secret history of Indian modernity too often obscured by our powerful wish to associate Indians with the traditional, the primitive, and 'the blanket.'" - Werner Sollors, author of Neither Black Nor White Yet Both"