Talking Back To Civilization
First Edition   ©2001

Talking Back To Civilization

Indian Voices from the Progressive Era

Frederick E. Hoxie (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-10385-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-10385-9; Format: Paper Text, 208 pages

As progressive reformers took on America’s ills at the start of the twentieth century, a new generation of Native American reformers took on America, "talking back" to the civilization that had overrun but not crushed their own. This volume offers a collection of 21 primary sources, including journal articles, testimony, and political cartoons by Native Americans of the Progressive Era, who worked in a variety of fields to defend their communities and culture. Their voices are organized into 7 topical chapters on subjects such as native religion, education, and Indian service in World War I. Spanning the period from the 1893 Columbian Expedition to the 1920s' congressional land hearings, this rich array of voices fills an important gap in the chronology of Native American studies. An engaging introduction focusing on the intellectual leaders of the protest efforts includes background on the Progressive Era, while headnotes for each document, striking illustrations, a chronology of major events, and a bibliography support the firsthand accounts.
"I like the concept of ‘talking back’ to civilization used in this [book] and the various political perspectives represented in the essays. These voices make clear that native people appropriated the language of the colonizers to make sense of their world, defend Indian rights, and challenge American politics during the Progressive Era. The documents show Indian people as activists and thinkers."
Brenda Child, University of Minnesota