970: The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

by Gerard


970.00497: King, Thomas. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 266 pp. ISBN 978-0-8166-8976-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 970: History of North America
  • 970.004: Ethnic and national groups
  • 970.00497: American native peoples

If you’re looking for a blunt collection of thoughts on the course of the history of North American Indians, then look no further than Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian. King, a member of the Cherokee Nation, tackles the history of the American Indian from the point of view of a novelist, and so this isn’t as stringent a history book as one might hope for. But that doesn’t prevent him from presenting a chronicle of how Native Indian history and North American history have intertwined. It’s interesting and insightful but clearly opinionated. In any case, however, King’s prose is fun, witty, and also challenging to hear.

This history includes perspectives from both American and Canadian tribes, and learning more about the native peoples of Canada was very refreshing. We so often hear the plight of Native Americans that we forget about those who were living elsewhere on the continent. The only thing that this book lacks is adequate source documentation or footnotes for his information. King gladly states that he isn’t out to write a scholarly or complete history, but a few citations wouldn’t hurt his cause. A pleasant but slightly biased read.