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"All the Real Indians Died Off" and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (2016)

af Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Dina Gilio-Whitaker

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14817139,865 (3.88)9
Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as- "Columbus Discovered America" "Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims" "Indians Were Savage and Warlike" "Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians" "The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide" "Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans" "Most Indians Are on Government Welfare" "Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich" "Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol" Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, "All the Real Indians Died Off"challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.… (mere)

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Viser 1-5 af 18 (næste | vis alle)
I hesitate to say that I found this book boring and rambling, as if its primary purpose is to entertain, but even as someone who reads an epic amount of nonfiction I found this book boring and rambling. ( )
  KimMeyer | Sep 8, 2020 |
The authors chose to frame this as 21 "myths" for marketing purposes, kind of like a ZergNet list for serious people, but it's really just 21 topics they wanted to write about. In 2016, do we still need to debunk the "myth" that Columbus discovered America? And who says Indians are anti-science, or more anti-science than the general public, which admittedly in the current era, seems pretty anti-science? Some chapters in this book are good and provide nice summaries of complex issues. The chapters on genocide, sports mascots, and cultural appreciation are decent. On the other hand, some chapters are train wrecks that lack direction. The chapter "Indians are wards of the state" contains some good reference information, but it's a snore to read. And Myth #20, called "Native Americans can't agree on what to be called" is funny, since it pretty much concludes that Native Americans can't agree on what to be called. A very mixed bag. ( )
  texasstorm | Dec 17, 2018 |
Interesting content that should make you think but the writing style is terrible. It wasn't all that long ago that I read Anton Treuer's 'Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask' and thought this would be a good compliment. It also seemed like time to read more books by Native authors so I thought this would be a good read.
 
You've heard and perhaps believe these myths before. Thanksgiving was a peaceful time that showed Indians welcomed the pilgrims. All Indians go to casinos and drink alcohol. Sports mascots really aren't offensive, people just make a big deal over nothing. And so on and so forth. Authors Dunbar-Ortiz and Gilio-Whitaker takes a look at these myths and breaks down why they are false.
 
A lot of it was quite interesting. Even though I was familiar with many of the myths, the information helped provide a historical context that I didn't have previously. That said, there also a few myths I had never heard of "Indians are Anti-Science" for example. Maybe some of these have been implied (the anti-science, for example, may be tied to the image of Natives only living on reservations, are very poor and poorly educated, etc.) in the media but I had not been familiar with some of these so explicitly stated.
 
That said, I agree with some of the commentary that the writing style isn't that great. The introduction notes that this book was a project of Dunbar-Ortiz's coming soon after the release of another book of hers and that Gilio-Whitaker was a first time author. And it shows. Sometimes the writing is overly academic and dry. Sometimes it goes off on tangents and it can be hard to follow.
 
Still, I did not regret reading the book but also agree with other reviews that it's a book that should probably not be your first if you're looking to learn more about Native Americans (the correct term[s]) on what to call them is also addressed). Treuer's book as mentioned above might be an easier starting point but I would recommend this one as well. Also a basic knowledge of recent events (the controversy over sports mascots, the problem of people appropriating Native heritage despite not having any proof otherwise, etc.) would be good to know.
 
I'd also recommend borrowing this from the library or buying cheap if you can. I had a gift card and coupon for this book but it's not something I would need to keep for reference. I would recommend Treuer's book as mentioned above as well as his brother David Treuer's book 'Rez Life'. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A series of chapters, each "busting" one myth about Native Americans. For the most part they were very good. While I was already at least partly aware of the truth behind each myth, I still learned a lot of facts from each chapter. Generally, my biggest quibble would be that there was a lack of primary sources being cited, it was mostly secondary sources. Why quote Howard Zinn quoting Bartolome de las Casas when you could just quote de las Casas himself?

The exception to my overall agreement with the book was chapter two, which deals with the myth "Native Americans were the first immigrants to North America". The authors' thesis for this chapter was not explicitly stated, but I believe they are arguing that Native American religion and oral tradition asserts that they have always lived in North America. This could be framed as a "respect Native religions (including creation myths)" argument, which I agree is important, but in the case of land rights one would have to also consider that the invading colonists' religion (Christianity) told them that North America was their right as well. "Native Americans were here first" is a good argument for Native land rights because it is a fact; "their religion says this land is theirs" is not a good argument because it can equally be used against them. Aside from religion, the only argument against Native American immigration is the same argument seen from Christian creation arguments as well - scientists & historians aren't sure if the immigration happened 10,000 years ago or 20,000 years ago, and thus all science and history must be wrong. This chapter was very early in the book, and left a bad taste in my mouth for subsequent chapters. If the authors thought it was important to include in the book, that is fine, but I wish it hadn't been at the beginning.

I think I would prefer to read shorter-form works by these authors, like essays or newspaper columns (or even these chapters on an individual basis). They were interesting, I learned things, and I like their point of view! But I thought this book was just okay. I'm not sure what the intended audience is. ( )
1 stem norabelle414 | Oct 31, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A necessary primer on many myths that USians are brought up believing about Native Americans. Reading books like this just makes me angry about how miseducated I was as a child, and how that miseducation continues to this day. I think it covers some really necessary topics about how racism and white supremacy has conspired over the years to try and eliminate the presence of indigenous peoples on this continent. There were definitely some things I would have liked to have read more about, but I guess this just means I'll have to find some more related books! ( )
  lemontwist | Mar 9, 2017 |
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Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as- "Columbus Discovered America" "Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims" "Indians Were Savage and Warlike" "Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians" "The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide" "Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans" "Most Indians Are on Government Welfare" "Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich" "Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol" Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, "All the Real Indians Died Off"challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.

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