In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

352 Western American Literature visible documentation would in some instances be disappointed even though the raw material of the sources is honestly and appropriately utilized' but to demand the immediate clarity of a documented paper would violate both the spirit and the aesthetic coherence of a very good book. Sir Philip Sidney would be pleased with Holthaus’s accomplishment on at least one count: the book does both “teach and delight.” For much the same reasons and for reasons indigenous to our western heritage, any reader interested in the American West would enjoy this book. JAMES R. SAUGERMAN Northwest Missouri State University The Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney. By L. G. Moses. (Cham­ paign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1984. xvii + 293 pages, $24.95, cloth.) In recent years anthropologists have been severely criticized for their dealings with American Indians. Some of the criticisms were justifiable, but others were not. Certainly James Mooney’s relationship with Indians pro­ vides an example which should be emulated by all students interested in the field of American Indian studies. Mooney was one of the first “professional” scholars who devoted his life to the study of native Americans. He was recog­ nized by whites and Indians alike as one of the foremost ethnologists in the United States. Mooney believed that “the only way to learn their ideas and study their character” was to live and work with Indians. He felt that without an understanding of the Indian communities “you cannot know them.” Mooney was correct, and scholars today should take heed. Serious students of the American Indian should learn from Mooney’sworks and his methods. Mooney’s interest in the American Indian began in 1873—at the age of 12—and he launched his career with the Bureau of Ethnology in 1885. For the next 36 years, he devoted his life to detailing various aspects of the history, culture, religion, and language of selected Indian tribes in the United States. Moses’book focuses primarily on the major phases of Mooney’s work among the Eastern Cherokee, Paiute, Sioux, Kiowa, and others. Mooney is best known for his work on the Ghost Dance Religion, and Moses’ handling of Mooney’s visit with and study of Wovoka, the Paiute Prophet of the Ghost Dance, is both enlightening and insightful. The author’s analysis of the Prophet, his revelations, and his teachings are surpassed only by the discussion of the peyote religion, the formation of the Native American Church, and the national controversy stemming from the Indian use of peyote. Moses examines Mooney the man and the scholar, pointing out that Mooney was a self-trained professional who “added a new dimension to the writing of Indian history by using sources from the Indians themselves.” Mooney’s use of Kiowa calendars, for example, formed the basis of his classic Reviews 353 study, Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians. The ethnologist’s close rela­ tionship with the Kiowas, Comanches, and others earned him the deep respect of many Indians. However, Mooney’s study and use of peyote for religious purposes also earned him the ire of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian reformers, including two notable native Americans—Carlos Monte­ zuma and Gertrude Bonnin. Moses exposes the academic and socio-political problems that plagued Mooney, and he skillfully assesses the ethnologist’scon­ tributions to the field of anthropology. The author also suggests that much of Mooney’s data remains untapped, available for some future scholar. The life of the “Indian Man” is expertly portrayed by Professor Moses in this first-rate biography. The volume is certain to become the definitive work on James Mooney. CLIFFORD E. TRAFZER San Diego State University English Creek. By Ivan Doig. (New York: Atheneum, 1984. 339 pages, $15.95.) Ivan Doig’s new novel is set in the summer of 1939 as its narrator, Jick McCaskill, approaches his fifteenth birthday. Significantly, this point in time marks both the end of the Great Depression and the start of World War Two. Thus the book does not utilize the typical patterns of history and incident western fiction has emphasized. The fact that Jick’s father is chief ranger for the Forest...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 352-353
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.