New Indians, Old Wars
About the BookAddressing Native American studies past, present, and future, the essays in New Indians, Old Wars tackle the discipline head-on, presenting a radical revision of the popular view of the American West in the process. Instead of luxuriating in the West's past glories or accepting the widespread historians' view of it as a shared place, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn argues that the American West should be fundamentally understood as stolen.
Cook-Lynn says that the Indian Wars of Resistance to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century colonial effort to seize native lands and resources must be given standing in the face of the ever-growing imperial narrative of America--because the terror the world is now witnessing may be the direct consequence of events which began in America's earliest dealings with the natives of this continent. Cook-Lynn's story examines the ongoing and perennial relationship of conflict between colonizers and indigenous people, and it is a story that every American must read.
Cook-Lynn understands that the story of the American West teaches the political language of land theft and tyranny. She argues that to remedy this situation, Native American studies must be considered and pursued as its own discipline, rather than as a subset of history or anthropology. She makes an impassioned claim that such a shift, not merely an institutional or theoretical change, could allow Native American studies to play an important role in defending the sovereignty of indigenous nations today.