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Indians in Unexpected Places (Culture America) (Culture America (Paperback)) Paper edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0700614592
ISBN-10: 0700614591
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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 Maksel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A trenchant and enlightening examination of American Indian identity and of federal policy that has affected it." -- Montana The Magazine of Western History<br \><br \>"An eminently readable work." -- Multicultural Review<br \><br \>"Deloria succeeds brilliantly." --Journal of the West

"Deloria's endpoint is to quiz stereotypes for their impact on ideological discourse, which he accomplishes with humor, grace, and depth." --Choice

"Highly recommended for public, high school, and academic libraries with multicultural interests." --Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Series: Culture America (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas; Paper edition edition (October 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700614591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700614592
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on October 7, 2007
I am familiar with the works of the late American Indian author of twenty books (including Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto), theologian, historian, and activist, Vine Deloria, Jr. I was less familiar with his son, Phillip J. Deloria, a history professor and director of the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan. The title of this piece and eye-catching mural-esque book cover (of four native people in a Model T, in full regalia, looking outward at the cow-spotted plains) immediately caught my attention.

What are these "unexpected" places that Phillip Deloria was referring to? They include early cinema, athletics, technology and music. What's more, he gives us new insight into the background of the Battle of Wounded Knee and other tragic chapters in Native history that are either glossed over in historical texts or are decidedly one-ended. Deloria has a very clear writer's voice, and freely intersperses the personal anecdotes of his family's rich history (Deloria is of Sioux heritage) with archived photographs and amazing stories that encompass more than 100 years of Native accomplishment in cinema (with reference to pioneers in the industry who worked to challenge and break the stereotypical depiction of the animalistic Noble Savage and other typical roles often brought to screen, often with White people in wigs and "exotic" make-up, playing these characters), sports (baseball, football and track, just to name a few sports), technology (many photos of native families and Geronimo, himself, cruising around in some of the most popular automobiles from the early 20th century), and music (notable native composers, opera singers and ensembles).

I can't begin to tell you how much I learned after reading this book.
Read more ›
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is convincing the world we still exist. As someone whose family has lived on this side of the world for the last 10,000 years or more, I find this book a welcome treatment. Philip Deloria is balanced, scholarly, and insightful; he can treat Native issues well without bashing his point over the reader's (especially the non-Native's) head. I would recommend Philip Deloria's work to anyone who has ever asked what it is like to be a Native American.
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Indians in Unexpected Places is series of essays about Native people doing “unexpected” things. Such "unexpected" things might be an image of Geronimo riding in a car. These images of Native people immersed (and comfortable) in modernity (autos, sports, film, music) cause a disconnect to some viewers. There are cultural expectations of how Native people should be (e.g., primitive, rural, stoic, bartering) versus actual Indian experiences (e.g., Native college football players). The book reveals these “secret histories” of Indian life in the late 1800s to early 1900s through many Native players (Red Shirt, Luther Standing Bear, Red Eagle, Standing Horse, Geronimo, James Young Deer and Princess Red Wing, Vine Deloria Sr.; Charles Bender, Tsianina Redfeather).

Deloria shows that Native people have been "shapers of images" and have "act[ed] with intent and intelligence in unexpected places."
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I found the title to be rather a strange title, but the book was quite good. With a lot of his own background and heritage the author brings forth a lot of Indian history from different perspectives than is usually written in the history books. He particularly looked at athletics, movies, automobiles and music. The last section on Music was a little difficult/boring for me since I haven't a clue about music. A friend of mine says his first book was better. I might give that a look later. to see what new knowledge is brought forth
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