Over the twentieth century, American Indians fought for their right to be both American and Indian. In an illuminating book, Paul C. Rosier traces how Indians defined democracy, citizenship, and patriotism in both domestic and international contexts.
Battles over the place of Indians in the fabric of American life took place on reservations, in wartime service, in cold war rhetoric, and in the courtroom. The Society of American Indians, founded in 1911, asserted that America needed Indian cultural and spiritual values. In World War II, Indians fought for their ancestral homelands and for the United States. The domestic struggle of Indian nations to defend their cultures intersected with the international cold war stand against termination—the attempt by the federal government to end the reservation system. Native Americans seized on the ideals of freedom and self-determination to convince the government to preserve reservations as places of cultural strength. Red Power activists in the 1960s and 1970s drew on Third World independence movements to assert an ethnic nationalism that erupted in a series of protests—in Iroquois country, in the Pacific Northwest, during the occupation of Alcatraz Island, and at Wounded Knee.
Believing in an empire of liberty for all, Native Americans pressed the United States to honor its obligations at home and abroad. Like African Americans, twentieth-century Native Americans served as a visible symbol of an America searching for rights and justice. American history is incomplete without their story.
A superb, innovative book. The story of Native Americans in the Cold War is without doubt one of the most important in the relationship between race and foreign affairs, and Rosier is the first to tell it in full. Impressively researched and engagingly written, this book fills a major gap in the literature and will have widespread appeal.
This pathbreaking book offers a fresh perspective on twentieth-century Indian politics, patriotism, and tribalism by tracking important intersections between domestic and international affairs. The Cold War and global colonization movements emboldened Native Americans to demand their rights. Simultaneously, events required them to defend their homelands from enemies both within and without the country. To be Indian and American poses no contradiction, as Rosier so wisely points out, if the nation lives up to its ideals and its treaty obligations.
In this extensively researched and well-documented study, Rosier examines modern Native American political history within an international context.
Fascinating...This is an important book, certain to generate considerable discussion.
Serving Their Country presents a compelling argument...Rosier has produced an important book that will provide scholars with much to engage, discuss, and debate.
A fascinating study documenting how federal American Indian policies intersected with national and international issues...Although other historians have written about specific eras in which this intersection occurred, Rosier's intriguing and sweeping study adds much to the literature.
By putting Indian affairs in a broader, international context he does the field a great service.
- 2009, Winner of the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award
- 368 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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