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Native American History Books

Ronald Satz, American Indian Policy in the Jacksonian Era (1974)

This book offers the most balanced and useful review of Jackson's Indian policies. Satz provides a thoughtful exploration of the positions assumed by Jackson and the other participants in the debate over removal. The complications that plagued the removal process itself are also thoroughly discussed.

Michael Hittman and Don Lynch, Wovoka and the Ghost Dance (1997)

This is the best book on the Paiute mystic and the revival of the Ghost Dance in the 1890s. Based on meticulous research, including interviews with family members, the authors build a compelling and authoritative narrative.

Thurman Wilkins, Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People (1989)

Wilkins offers a more sympathetic treatment of the Cherokee signers of the Treaty of New Echota than most other historians. Placing Major Ridge's decision within the context of a lifetime of nation-building efforts, Wilkins suggests there was more tragedy than treason within his actions.

William McLoughlin, Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic (1992)

McLouglin traces the nation building efforts of the Cherokees from the late nineteenth century through Worcester v. Georgia. He sets these efforts against an interesting introduction to Cherokee culture and society in the decades preceding. The book is detailed and comprehensive. Readers interested in a quick introduction and overview should look elsewhere, but readers interested in an authoritative examination of Cherokee nation building will be rewarded.

R. David Edmunds, The Shawnee Prophet (1983)

Tenskwatawa, the younger brother of Tecumseh, the legendary Shawnee leader, is the focus of this useful and interesting book. Edmunds explores the nationalist vision of this Indian prophet, the conditions that contributed to his ascendance, and the rise and fall of the movement he initiated. The complexity of the story makes for a somewhat dense narrative, but the reader is rewarded with an appropriately nuanced portrait of British-American-Indian relations in the first decade of the nineteenth century.

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