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The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account…

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North… (2012)

by Thomas King

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This edition is an updated version of the earlier book (2012) and includes the author's photography and 2017 political statements. For the dominating white culture, this is a rightfully embarrassing history of injustice and unfairness, written in a slightly ironical narrative. Thomas King has a wonderful turn of words which appear through out the book: just for openers, "...writing non-fiction is like herding porcupines with your elbows..." and many other highly quotable insights on Native - White relationships in North America. This book should be required reading in high school history classes as good start on correcting the mistaken views perpetuated in educational settings. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 3, 2018 |
"Fascinating, often hilarious, always devastatingly truthful, this book is
destined to become a classic of historical narrative. For those who wish to
better understand Native peoples, it is a must-read. For those who don't wish
to understand, it is even more so." -- back cover
  collectionmcc | Mar 6, 2018 |
I enjoy Thomas King's books, but this one did not engage me. I know it's nonfiction, and he did what he could to inject his typical humour into it (and he succeeded in that) but the subject matter is just so challenging and depressing, it's difficult to like this book. It comes across as all history does -- very one sided. Certainly how European settlers treated the American natives was wrong, but how can we right such an ingrained wrong? Politics are politics: it's not necessary a conspiracy to eliminate aboriginals. All interest groups get screwed by politics! It's a story that must be told, but not as the sole voice. I look forward to reading his latest piece of fiction instead. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 3, 2017 |
4.5/5, one of the best and most engaging non-fiction books I've read in a while. This is my third First Nation history book I've read and by far the best. Highly recommend to all North Americans. The more you know the more you'll understand the present issues. ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
A very readable cross between a memoir and a history book, looking at attitudes towards indigenous people in North America. I was familiar with a lot of the Canadian history, but less so with many of the US equivalent stories. The history of native involvement in Hollywood was interesting. Thomas King has an engaging and entertaining style of writing which leavens the often grim subject matter with humour. This helps to press his points home without depressing the reader too much.

A minor niggle: it's always 'the English' in this book, rather than 'the British' when he talks about European settlers/traders (usually in opposition to 'the French'). As many of the early settlers in Canada were Scots (Sir John A. Macdonald, for example), this jarred with me a bit. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
The book Canadians are snapping up hardly paints them in a flattering light. King’s tone is breezy and light, full of funny stories and self-deprecating jokes, but just below that geniality lies a deep reservoir of bitterness over the treatment of Indians in Canada and the United States that continues on to this day. White North Americans, he argues, prefer their Indians noble, primitive, and safely extinct, and actual, live Indians who stubbornly insist on their rights as an independent people they regard as at best a troublesome nuisance.
It’s a mistake to expect a scholarly history of Native Americans—though Thomas King certainly has he chops to write it—but what we get instead is something only King could do: an historical and cultural memoir, packed with facts and using narrative as it is best used. ... A bit lighter in tone than Vine Deloria Jr.’s Custer Died for Your Sins, The Inconvenient Indian is also fully rooted in the 21st century, with discussion of contemporary Native American practices and culture.
added by KelMunger | editLit/Rant, Kel Munger (Sep 18, 2013)
The Inconvenient Indian is less an indictment than a reassurance that we can create equality and harmony. A powerful, important book.
Novelist Thomas King describes his brilliantly insightful, peevish book about native people in North America as a “a series of conversations and arguments that I’ve been having with myself and others for most of my adult life.” Making no excuses for the intrusion of his own personal biases and the book’s lack of footnotes, King suggests we view The Inconvenient Indian not as history, but as storytelling “fraught with history.”
added by Nickelini | editQuill and Quire (Nov 1, 2012)
Dr. King’s book should be required reading for anyone seeking insider insight into how Indians have been treated in Canada versus the United States. Born in America and now a distinguished Canadian writer-educator, the author is in a prime position for this undertaking. - See more at: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-...
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I am the Indian.
And the burden
Lies yet with me.

Rita Joe, "Poems of Rita Joe"
For the grandchildren I will not see.
First words
About fifteen years back, a bunch of us got together to form a drum group.
A great many people in North America believe that Canada and the United States, in a moment of inexplicable generosity, gave treaty rights to Native people as a gift. Of course, anyone familiar with the history of Indians in North America knows that Native people paid for every treaty right, and in some cases, paid more than once. The idea that either country gave First Nations something for free is horseshit.
Sorry. I should have been more polite and said "anyone familiar with Native history knows this is in error," or "knows that this is untrue," but, frankly, I'm tired of correcting people. I could have said "bullshit," which is a more standard North American expletive, but, as Sherman Alexie (Spokane-Coeur d'Alene) reminds us in his poem "How to Write the Great American Indian Novel," "real" Indians come from a horse culture. (70)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385664214, Hardcover)

The Inconvenient Indian is at once a “history” and the complete subversion of a history—in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America.
Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, this book distills the insights gleaned from that meditation, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.
This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope -- a sometimes inconvenient, but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:14 -0400)

In The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King offers a deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian-White relations in North America since initial contact. Ranging freely across the centuries and the Canada-U.S. border, King debunks fabricated stories of Indian savagery and White heroism, takes an oblique look at Indians (and cowboys) in film and popular culture, wrestles with the history of Native American resistance and his own experiences as a Native rights activist, and articulates a profound, revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.… (more)

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