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Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization Hardcover – August 21, 2012

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Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization + Like a Loaded Weapon: The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights, and the Legal History of Racism in America (Indigenous Americas) + The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Armed with guns, horses, and machines, European settlers relentlessly mowed down, pushed aside, and in some cases enslaved peaceful natives they found living in the new worlds they were overrunning. Reaching back to antiquity, they resurrected myths about one-eyed giants and other monsters to rationalize the harsh treatment they were visiting on Indians and Mexicans. Later, they would deploy very similar rhetorical strategies to justify extermination and enslavement in other parts of the world. The suspicion grows that Western agents are the savages and the peace-loving natives the superior race. Savage Anxieties explains how, like bad money driving out good, a savage society will win every time. (Richard Delgado, professor, Seattle University School of Law and author of Critical Race Theory)

About the Author

Robert A. Williams, Jr. is a member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe as well as the professor of law and director of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona. He is the author of the classic work on Indian rights under US law, The American Indian in Western Legal Thought, which won the Gustavus Meyer human rights award recently. The recipient of awards from the MacArthur, Ford, and Soros foundations, Williams is also well known for his work defending tribal groups before the United Nations and the Supreme Court.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230338763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230338760
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert A. Williams, Jr. is the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and American Indian Studies and Faculty Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law in Tucson. An enrolled member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina, Professor Williams received his B.A. from Loyola College (1977) and his J.D. from Harvard Law School (1980). He was named the first Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (2003-2004), having previously served there as Bennet Boskey Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law. He is the author of The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest (1990), which received the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Center Award as one of the outstanding books published in 1990 on the subject of prejudice in the United States. He has also written Linking Arms Together: American Indian Treaty Visions of Law and Peace, 1600-1800 (1997) and Like a Loaded Weapon: The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights and the Legal History of Racism in America (2005). He is co-author of Federal Indian Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed., with David Getches and Charles Wilkinson, 2011). His latest book, Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization will be published by Palgrave Macmillan (Fall 2102). The 2006 recipient of the University of Arizona Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize for Outstanding Accomplishments in Public Service, Professor Williams is the founding Director of the IPLP Program at the Rogers College of Law. He has received major grants and awards from the Soros Senior Justice Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Institute of Justice. He has represented tribal groups before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, and served as co-counsel for Floyd Hicks in the United States Supreme Court case, Nevada v. Hicks (2001 term). Professor Williams has served as Chief Justice for the Court of Appeals, Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, and as Justice for the Court of Appeals and trial judge pro tem for the Tohono O'odham Nation. Professor Williams was named one of 2011's "Heroes on the Hill" by Indian Country Today for his work on behalf of the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group before the OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Chambers on August 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Robert Williams is a major scholar, and this book will only enhance is already considerable reputation. This is one of those grand histories of European thought that begins with the ancient Greek invention of the idea of the savage, following the development of this concept right down to the present, where it is still being used "to justify violations of the most basic human rights". His analytical and carefully reasoned account is essential to understanding the modern perpetuation of stereotypes, especially in the Native American context.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By SK on March 8, 2013
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The best book I've read in a long time. Williams is absolutely brilliant in his analysis. He ripped apart history to make room for truth. Everyone should read this book in order to understand reality. I loved it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By michael b. rosenzweig on March 31, 2015
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The author uses his clear erudition to force the reader to to face the hard question of one's baked in prejudices that are used by "special interests" to enrich themselves at the expense of the powerless. A more broadly applicable question in this country than just Indian rights. The book reads a bit like a legal brief but the author's deep knowledge of the history and his revealing the clay feet of our leading lights in our part of this history make it worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Abro on February 1, 2015
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Very timely & poignant book especially in regards to American Sniper and the killer's constant justifications for 'killing savages'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bobo on May 9, 2015
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A clearly written summary (~250 pgs) of how ideas regarding the simple, uncivilized, lawless, propertyless, pure, uncorrupted, erotic and exotic savage, perceived as outside of, and threatening to, western civilization, has influenced how europeans and their settlers justified and understood expansion against, and suppression of, the 'savages' from ancient Athens to modern America, Australia and Canada.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sister Nora Murphy on February 23, 2015
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Book was for someone else. But I read it when available. I heard the author speak with Bill Moyers and knew the book was worthwhile. I know for sure that some U.S. laws based on Colonial legal decisions are depriving Native Americans of lands to which only they have a right. Some are Papal Statements which are underpinnings for U. S. laws which are still on the books.
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A very interesting and educational book about the origin of the concept of "Savage". It causes one to think about your own anxiety over unfamiliar experiences.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bego on March 26, 2015
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Very well researched. Valuable information and perspective that's useful when we reflect on our "progress."
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