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Bringing Indians to the Book (Emil and Kathleen Sick Book Series in Western History and Biography) Paperback – July 22, 2005
From Publishers Weekly
The collision of Anglo-American westward expansion with northwestern Native American cultures is viewed through the lens of books, secular and sacred, in this dry, narrowly focused volume. Furtwangler (Acts of Discovery: Visions of America in the Lewis and Clark Journals) explores how "the extension of literate institutions" affected both the writers and readers of early accounts of European/Native encounters, as well as those upon whom they imposed the written word. He reviews diverse reports of the four Nez Perce who traveled to St. Louis to meet with William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) and traces "the odd geographical parallel between the explorer and missionary settlements." Later chapters attend to the internal "war of documents" among the missionaries as "disputes rose to a level of rage" and to an in-depth consideration of several descriptions of the First Salmon ceremony. While Furtwangler offers fresh observations, the book remains of most interest to those who care deeply about the thoughtful analyses of texts; for them, his book offers a cautionary exploration of how the West was written and some even deeper questions about privileging the written word.
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"It may be ironic to praise in a written review a book that critiques the dominance of a culture of literacy, but so be it. This is an important work that calls into question fundamental assumptions about the nature of intercultural contact. Anyone interested in US missionary activity should take seriously its central thesis."―Mission Studies
"This book is a fascinating essential volume for anyone interested in how the discrepant viewpoints of the early missionaries and the Indians they came to change influenced the eventual imposition of non-Indian culture on the present day Pacific Northwest."―HistoryLink
"Bringing Indians to the Book is an engaging and original study of early missionaries in the Pacific Northwest."―We Proceeded On: The Quarterly Magazine of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
"Arguably the definitive work on its subject..[A] passionate history of ideas and people. It is an exciting and vital work that gets as near to the truth as can be imagined."―Salem Statesman Journal
"Bringing Indians to the Book offers a thought-provoking glimpse into the minds of nineteenth-century missionaries whose writings left us only glimpses of a world they sought to change but never understood."―Montana: The Magazine of Western History
"Albert Furtwangler tackles a complicated subject and makes it understandable and a pleasure to read. Bringing Indians to the Book provides a compelling window through which to view the first contacts that took place between whites and Indians in the Pacific Northwest."―Journal of the West
"This book is a model for demonstrating historical research methods to students. Among Furtwangler's strengths are his persistent self-awareness and self-criticism, his digging into untapped sources, and his ability to find new meanings in old places."―Oregon Historical Quarterly
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