Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Having grown up in Iowa, I drove by the Meskwaki settlement near Tama, Iowa, countless times. Although curious about the people who lived there, I knew little more than that they held a powwow every year. Never did I dream I would one day write a book about—and with—them. Life's journey, however, takes us places we never...

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Series Editors' Introduction

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pp. xi-xiii

Sol Tax's "action anthropology" project with the Meskwaki community at Tama, Iowa, has been lauded in the received history of Americanist anthropology as an early successful attempt to combine the scientific aims of anthropology, the ethical aspirations of the anthropologist to be useful to the community studied, and the Native American...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-28

On July 15, 1948, Ed Davenport was glad to see his old friend Sol Tax get out of the car on the road by his home on the Meskwaki settlement near Tama, Iowa. It had been thirteen years since the University of Chicago professor had visited the community where he did research for his dissertation in anthropology, and some catching up...

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1. Making the Modern Meskwaki Nation

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pp. 29-63

In 1934 the four hundred residents of the Meskwaki settlement were as much in need of a new deal as the rest of the nation. They lived in small, wood-framed houses without electricity or running water, as did many of their white neighbors in the days before Franklin D. Roosevelt's rural electric cooperatives lit up the countryside...

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2. Sol Tax and the Value of Anthropology

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pp. 64-108

The question that Ed Davenport posed to Sol Tax when they met in the summer of 1948 was one that Tax had begun asking himself even before he became an anthropologist. Tax's personal struggle over whether to "work out some sort of a plan to fix things up, instead of just studying people," coincided with efforts in anthropology and...

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3. "Science Has to Stop Somewhere"

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pp. 109-153

When the members of the first University of Chicago field party arrived in Tama in 1948, the Meskwaki settlement appeared an exotic enclave set off from, yet penetrated by, the mundane heartland of America. The settlement's thirty-three hundred acres straddled the Iowa River and sloped upward from the river's muddy backwaters...

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4. Action Anthropology and the Values Question

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pp. 154-188

The creation of action anthropology may have occurred in the summer of 1948, but all its implications were not completely obvious at the end of that first summer, either to many settlement residents or to the action anthropologists. Students were well aware that they were taking on extra obligations that traditional anthropologists did...

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5. 1954—Project Nadir and Rebound

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pp. 189-226

Every summer as powwow time approached, members of the University of Chicago summer field party became drawn into community preparations for the event in one way or another. The students pitched in to help put up bleachers, clear brush, or put up advertising posters. Sometimes they went to the nightly practices on the...

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6. Fruits of Action Anthropology

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pp. 227-274

At the same time Sol Tax was launching the scholarship program, he also continued his search for a source of funds for more significant projects on the settlement. Finally in 1954 Tax chased the right rainbow and came up with a pot of gold—a $60,000 grant from the Schwartzhaupt Foundation of New York City to spend over four years...

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Epilogue

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pp. 275-308

More than five decades after the first University of Chicago anthropology students came to the Meskwaki settlement, much had changed in the community. And much had not. Some issues that had bedeviled the community in the 1940s remained to be settled. New ones emerged. Old ones re-emerged in slightly different form...

Appendix 1: Participants in University of Chicago Project at Tama, Iowa, 1948–1958

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pp. 309-311

Appendix 2: Publications Related to Meskwaki

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pp. 313-316

Notes

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pp. 317-381

Bibliography

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pp. 383-403

Index

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pp. 405-416