Dakota Philosopher: Charles Eastman and American Indian Thought
While Eastman’s contemporaries viewed him as “a great American and a true philosopher,” Indian scholars have long dismissed Eastman’s work as assimilationist. Now, for the first time, his philosophy as manifested in his writing is examined in detail. David Martínez explores Eastman’s views on the U.S.–Dakota War, Dakota and Ojibwe relations, Dakota sacred history, and citizenship in the Progressive Era, claiming for him a long overdue place in America’s intellectual pantheon.
“A compelling, innovative, and provocative reading of the work of Charles Eastman. . . Martínez has achieved a new and deepened understanding of the importance of Charles Eastman to his times, to Native intellectual history, and to the history of the state of Minnesota.” Robert Allen Warrior, author of The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction
“Martínez makes a unique contribution to the ongoing exploration of the early twentieth-century generation of Indian intellectuals, offering literary interpretations of historical texts and taking particular aim at the connections between intellectual history and philosophy. Dakota Philosopher reflects a rich and exciting configuration of the interdisciplinarity required by American Indian studies.” Philip Deloria, author of Indians in Unexpected Places
David Martínez is an assistant professor in the department of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. Of Pima descent, he is an enrolled member of the Gilla River Indian Community.