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Paul C Rosier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Over the twentieth century, American Indians fought for their right to be both American and Indian. In an illuminating book, Paul C. Rosier traces how Indians defined democracy, citizenship, and patriotism in both domestic and international contexts. Like African Americans, twentieth-century Native Americans served as a visible symbol of an America searching for rights and justice. American history is incomplete without their story.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this extensively researched and well-documented study, Rosier examines modern Native American political history within an international context. While Americans may think of themselves as non-imperial, he says, and believe that only expansion off the home continent should be viewed as imperialism—this book’s premise is that the U.S. has practiced imperialism since its founding, its geography constructed by force. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Native American intellectuals sought to universalize their plight, and demanded more rights in the post–World War I world. Rosier traces increased Native American participation in World War II—and the simultaneous loss of Native American lands, which were appropriated for military purposes such as gunnery ranges and bombing sites. The latter part of the century saw American Indians echoing decolonization activists abroad by resisting the termination of the reservation system, and fighting local sovereignty battles at Alcatraz Island in 1969 and Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1973. As Rosier notes, ethnic nationalism and cultural preservation efforts are carrying Native causes into the twenty-first century, as they join other minorities in the ongoing struggle for human rights. --Deborah Donovan


A superb, innovative book. The story of Native Americans in the Cold War is without doubt one of the most important in the relationship between race and foreign affairs, and Rosier is the first to tell it in full. Impressively researched and engagingly written, this book fills a major gap in the literature and will have widespread appeal. (Thomas Borstelmann, author of The Cold War and the Color Line)

This pathbreaking book offers a fresh perspective on twentieth-century Indian politics, patriotism, and tribalism by tracking important intersections between domestic and international affairs. The Cold War and global colonization movements emboldened Native Americans to demand their rights. Simultaneously, events required them to defend their homelands from enemies both within and without the country. To be Indian and American poses no contradiction, as Rosier so wisely points out, if the nation lives up to its ideals and its treaty obligations. (Sherry L. Smith, author of Reimagining Indians)

In this extensively researched and well-documented study, Rosier examines modern Native American political history within an international context. (Deborah Dawson Booklist 2009-11-01)

Fascinating...This is an important book, certain to generate considerable discussion. (Brian Hosmer Pacific Historical Review 2011-02-01)

Serving Their Country presents a compelling argument...Rosier has produced an important book that will provide scholars with much to engage, discuss, and debate. (Daniel M. Cobb American Historical Review 2011-04-01)

A fascinating study documenting how federal American Indian policies intersected with national and international issues...Although other historians have written about specific eras in which this intersection occurred, Rosier's intriguing and sweeping study adds much to the literature. (Laurence M. Hauptman Journal of American History 2010-09-01)

By putting Indian affairs in a broader, international context he does the field a great service. (Joy Porter Journal of American Studies 2011-09-01)

Product Details

  • File Size: 3086 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003WQ9RT4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,468,471 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is something considerably more than the title would suggest. It does in fact cover Native American (Indian) involvement in the US Armed Forces. However, it also offers an accessible narrative of the political conflict between the Tribes and the US Federal Govt. The end of the Indian Wars, as we call them, are covered, but more generally the collision of indigenous people's lives and corporate identities with government action, down through the attempt by the Eisenhower Admin to abolish the special status of the Tribes ("get out of the Indian business)*, Wounded Knee II and the Am Indian Movement.

The book is well-annotated. It seems to me that anyone interested in the history of Indigenous America would want to read this book. It is grossly mis-titled. It should be something like "Indian America and the Federal Government : who's sovereign around here?".

*An idea, I'm afraid I must say, that had much to commend it. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam and the Tribes are still viewed as separate nations, and the US might as well say it wants to "get out of the Canada or Mexico business". It's not One World yet, as Limbaugh and Fox will tell you.
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