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Shades of Hiawatha

Staging Indians, Making Americans, 1880-1930

Alan Trachtenberg

Hill and Wang

"A book of elegance, depth, breadth, nuance and subtlety." --W. Richard West Jr. (Founding Director of the National Museum of the American Indian), The Washington Post

A century ago, U.S. policy aimed to sever the tribal allegiances of Native Americans, limit their ancient liberties, and coercively prepare them for citizenship. At the same time, millions of new immigrants sought their freedom by means of that same citizenship. Alan Trachtenberg argues that the two developments were, inevitably, juxtaposed: Indians and immigrants together preoccupied the public imagination, and together changed the idea of what it meant to be American.

In Shades of Hiawatha, Trachtenberg eloquently suggests that we must re-create America's tribal creation story in new ways if we are to reaffirm its beckoning promise of universal liberty.

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Praise for Shades of Hiawatha

"A tour de force of imaginative synthesis and an extraordinary illuminating interpretation of American culture--subtly argued and beautifully written." --Jackson Lears, author of Something for Nothing: Luck in America

"In this rich and restless book, Alan Trachtenberg brushes the idea of 'the Indian' across the grain of American culture from 1855 through World War I. He shows the doubling and redoubling of Indian and American, native and immigrant--the shape-shifting of American identity in all its peculiar opulence. The result is enlightening on every page." --Scott Malcomson

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alan Trachtenberg

  • Alan Trachtenberg is the Neil Gray, Jr. Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies at Yale University. His books include Reading American Photographs (H&W, 1989) and The Incorporation of America (H&W, 1982). He lives in Hamden, Connecticut.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Shades of Hiawatha

Staging Indians, Making Americans, 1880-1930

Alan Trachtenberg

  • Trade Paperback

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Hill and Wang

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