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About the Book

Beyond the Book

352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 36 halftones, 5 maps, 1 tables, notes, bibl., index

ISBN  978-1-4696-2120-3
Published: April 2015

Why You Can't Teach United States History without American Indians

Edited by Susan Sleeper-Smith, Juliana Barr, Jean M. O'Brien, Nancy Shoemaker, and Scott Manning Stevens

A resource for all who teach and study history, this book illuminates the unmistakable centrality of American Indian history to the full sweep of American history. The nineteen essays gathered in this collaboratively produced volume, written by leading scholars in the field of Native American history, reflect the newest directions of the field and are organized to follow the chronological arc of the standard American history survey. Contributors reassess major events, themes, groups of historical actors, and approaches--social, cultural, military, and political--consistently demonstrating how Native American people, and questions of Native American sovereignty, have animated all the ways we consider the nation’s past. The uniqueness of Indigenous history, as interwoven more fully in the American story, will challenge students to think in new ways about larger themes in U.S. history, such as settlement and colonization, economic and political power, citizenship and movements for equality, and the fundamental question of what it means to be an American.

Contributors are Chris Andersen, Juliana Barr, David R. M. Beck, Jacob Betz, Paul T. Conrad, Mikal Brotnov Eckstrom, Margaret D. Jacobs, Adam Jortner, Rosalyn R. LaPier, John J. Laukaitis, K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Robert J. Miller, Mindy J. Morgan, Andrew Needham, Jean M. O'Brien, Jeffrey Ostler, Sarah M. S. Pearsall, James D. Rice, Phillip H. Round, Susan Sleeper-Smith, and Scott Manning Stevens.

About the Author

Susan Sleeper-Smith is professor of history at Michigan State University.

Juliana Barr is associate professor of history at the University of Florida.

Jean M. O'Brien is professor of history at the University of Minnesota.

Nancy Shoemaker is professor of history at the University of Connecticut.

Scott Manning Stevens is associate professor of Native American studies at Syracuse University.


"A mandatory purchase for all libraries."

“An excellent book...forces instructors to reexamine their pedagogy and think twice about what they teach and what students may be unconsciously taking away from the standard narratives.”
--The Chronicles of Oklahoma

"A tremendously powerful book."
--Minnesota History

“[An] exceptional set of chapters. . . . [Brings] together impressive scholars from a broad range of fields. . . . [And] recognize[s] the need to go beyond the usual retelling of U.S. history.”
--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“Well-written and generously illustrated, this rich resource merits a place on the bookshelves of everyone teaching American history.”
--Journal of American History

"An absolutely essential book, Why You Can't Teach United States History without American Indians reveals a powerful truth: that the experiences of Indigenous peoples should be central rather than peripheral in American history classrooms. This guidebook for teachers who want to reshape their pedagogy brings together ideas from leading scholars in the field of Native American studies. With their beautifully written essays, the authors will change how readers think about the past."
--Ari Kelman, McCabe Greer Professor, Penn State University

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