The Dispossession of the American Indian, 18871934

Janet A. McDonnell, Author Indiana University Press $24.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-253-33628-6
For 47 years the Dawes Act was the lawok? aa , and during this time Native Americans saw their estate shrink from 138 million acres to 54 million acres. Most of the land, McDonnell reports, ended up in the hands of whites. Dawes was ok?unecessary.aa intended to ``civilize'' the various tribes and make them self-reliant by allotting individual ownership of reservation land for farming and livestock grazing; the law instead created a dependent society, argues the author. The tragic failure of Dawes is the subject of her terse, well-documented first book. McDonnell, a historian for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, homes in on the administrators who were responsible, and describes their pathetic, sometimes corrupt practices in distributing, leasing and irrigating the land. Sadly, the message proves much stronger than this dry presentation, which probably will find less wordy. aa only a small audience. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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