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The White Man's Indian

Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present

The White Man's Indian by Robert F. Berkhofer
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Columbus called them "Indians" because his geography was faulty. But that name and, more importantly, the images it has come to suggest have endured for five centuries, not only obscuring the true identity of the original Americans but serving as an idealogical weapon in their subjugation. Now, in this brilliant and deeply disturbing reinterpretation of the American past, Robert Berkhofer has written an impressively documented account of the self-serving stereotypes Europeans and white Americans have concocted about the "Indian": Noble Savage or bloodthirsty redskin, he was deemed inferior in the light of western, Christian civilization and manipulated to its benefit. A thought-provoking and revelatory study of the absolute, seemingly ineradicable pervasiveness of white racism, The White Man's Indian is a truly important book which penetrates to the very heart of our understanding of ourselves.

"A splendid inquiry into, and analysis of, the process whereby white adventurers and the white middle class fabricated the Indian to their own advantage. It deserves a wide and thoughtful readership."
Chronicle of Higher Education

"A compelling and definitive history...of racist preconceptions in white behavior toward native Americans."
—Leo Marx, The New York Times Book Review

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; August 2011
304 pages; ISBN 9780307761972
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Title: The White Man's Indian
Author: Robert F. Berkhofer
  • News
Historicist: The White Torontonian's Indian - Torontoist
Sat, 06 Jun 2015 10:56:38 -0700
TorontoistHistoricist: The White Torontonian's IndianTorontoist“The Indian of imagination and ideology has been as real, ...
Portraits of vanished Indian life - Harvard Gazette
Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:08:27 -0700
Harvard GazettePortraits of vanished Indian lifeHarvard GazetteBurton said the albums' images support the idea of “the ...