Cover image for Theodore Roosevelt and six friends of the Indian


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E93 .H227 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Describes the efforts of six prominent individuals and two institutions to influence the conduct of Indian affairs during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt.

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Choice Review

Hagan, a senior scholar in Native American history, has constructed an analysis that is intentionally less than "a history of the Indian policy of the Roosevelt administration," but is also something more than an account of Roosevelt's "approach" to Native American issues and "the efforts of six friends [of the Indian, i.e., Anglo-American reformers] to educate" him. One pole of the book is an apologia for Roosevelt as the most informed and judicious president regarding Native Americans up to his day. Although true, Hagan's argument would have been more compelling with a deeper analysis of Roosevelt's racial, moral, and political perspectives. More effective is the other pole: the connections of six reformers (i.e., pro-assimilation) and two reform organizations with Roosevelt. Francis E. Leupp, Herbert Welsh, C. Hart Merriam, George Bird Grinnell, Charles F. Lummis, and Hamlin Garland receive the most attention; the Indian Rights Association and the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions figure more fitfully. The two groups operate more as stage-setting for the relationship between Roosevelt and the individual reformers, and Merriam's inclusion among the reformers is questionable on Hagan's own evidence. The remaining five, however, afford a window on the often conflicted lobbying at the turn of the 20th century for the ultimately ambiguous "Americanization" goals of "friends" of the Indian. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. F. Anderson; Northwestern College (IA)