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One Book One Northwestern

Thomas King’s provocative and unflinching book “The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America” is the One Book One Northwestern selection for the 2015-16 academic year.

The book offers a penetrating, provocative look at the history of Indian-white relations in North America. It focuses on government efforts to remove and relocate Native peoples and white efforts to exterminate and assimilate them. It contrasts popular perceptions of what King calls “Dead Indians,” the romantic reminders of a largely fictional past (“dignified, noble, silent, suitably garbed”), and “Live Indians,” contemporary and contemptible (“invisible, unruly, disappointing”). And, to explain the complexities of Native resistance and reinvention, it offers a concluding chapter titled “What Indians Want.”

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