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Reviews 363 The Fus Fixico Letters. By Alexander Posey. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1993. 302 pages, $37.50.) From 1902 to 1908, Alexander Posey, a Creek poet and journalist, wrote seventy-two “letters-to-the-editor” under the pseudonym Fus Fixico or “Heart­ less Bird.” Most of these appeared in the IndianJournal, a paper Posey himself edited, and they earned him national attention. Written in dialect and full ofwordplay, the letters humorously comment on Creek domestic and political affairs. They recount conversations Fus Fixico has with his friends, and topics include land allotment, separate statehood for Indian Territory, and the corruption of politicians. The letters span a crucial time in Indian Territory and Oklahoma history. As federal legislation ordered the breakup of communal tribal lands and political forces maneuvered for statehood, tribes grappled with the process of acculturation. Tribal membership split between conservatives who opposed the rapid change and progressives who considered it necessary to embrace such change to promote economic and social development. A progressive, Posey used the character of Fus Fixico to promote his views. As Daniel Littlefield, Jr. observes in the book’s introduction, the letters gave Posey a unique editorial forum. The letters also reveal the historical tensions involved in minority relations. After the Civil War, federal treaties required that the Five Civilized Tribes give tribal membership to their slaves. Thus, in tribal politics, race became a signifi­ cant issue, and Posey often engaged in race-baiting. His Fus Fixico persona raises intriguing and troubling questions about the politics of discourse. Carol Hunter initiated the project of editing Posey’s work, and she in­ tended to publish the letters with his poetry and journals. After her death, Littlefield, Posey’s biographer, took over the project. His decision to publish the letters separately, while perhaps a pragmatic choice, is regrettable. It would be extremely useful to have more of Posey’s writing, particularly his journals, available in a single collection. Overall, however, the editing is excellent. The introduction and explanatory notes supply crucial historical context. Littlefield also assesses Posey’s position within the tradition of literary humorists. An important recovery of traditionally lost material, this volume makes a valuable contribution to Native American studies, humor studies, and minority discourse. JOSEPH MILLS University ofCalifornia, Davis ...


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