Review by Choice Review
As the editors note in the introduction, little has been published specifically about Native American economics; instead, the topic is interdisciplinary, appearing as part of other works of history, anthropology, and political science. Johansen has pulled this information together into a single introductory resource, creating a unique and useful title. Because of the "awesome variety" of information, this work is organized primarily by Native American nation, covering the US, Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala. Most entries consequently treat the economy of a particular nation. Other entries are topical, including subjects as far-ranging as the Hudson's Bay Company, taxation and the Iroquois, National Indian Youth Council, gambling on reservations, and Indians as cowboys. The title covers both the nations' traditional economic behaviors, which themselves changed continually, and those that developed after contact with Europeans and European capitalism. The introduction is instructive and the entries, which range in length from a few sentences to several pages, include lists of readings. Academic collections. J. Drueke University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This work covers fundamentals of traditional Native American economies throughout North America (considered to be Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Guatemala); changes in economies brought about by European contact; current economies on reservations and controversies surrounding them (e.g., debates on gambling); and environmental issues as they impact Native American economic systems. Approximately 150 unattributed, alphabetically ordered articles written by subject area experts, most of whom hold college or university posts in Native American studies, political science, or history, present these topics at lengths varying from a single sentence to 14 pages for Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) economy, with most being one or two pages. Written in a clear, crisp style, articles are slightly dry, but certainly informative, and are current for events through the mid-1990s. Examples of entries include Cahokia, Cheyenne economy, corn, fishing rights, James Bay hydroelectric project, termination policy (1950s), and trade. Articles dealing with the exploitation of the environment are included because "the Native American point of view often considers environmental and economic themes as part of the same process." The apparent goal of creating an in-depth consideration of Native American economies as a field is more or less achieved. Aimed at college and university audiences, the information is also accessible to high-school students. All the articles are followed by short bibliographies of works related to the topic. An up-to-date bibliography and an index are located at the volume's end. The index is not always complete. The single index citation for Tenochtitlan leads to the article slavery and Native Americans, but Tenochtitlan appears elsewhere in the volume, especially in the article Aztec economy. Though much of the cultural information given here can also be found in such works as The Encyclopedia of North American Indians [RBB D 15 96], the focus on economics gives this a unique place on the shelf. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.