Review by Choice Review
The feature of Waldman's book that gladdens the reviewer's heart is the very detailed, 26-page index, only made more impressive by the five specialized indexes that follow. The book is arranged alphabetically by personal names. Entries give, where known, the meaning of the name, birth and death dates, and occupation or activities for which the subjects were known (tribal leader, medicine woman, war chief, guide); entry length varies from a few paragraphs to more than a page. Coverage is extended to non-Indians who had dealings with Indians--artists, writers, army officers, missionaries, educators, historians, Indian agents, etc., indexed in "Non-Indian Entries by Area of Activity." The extremely useful "American Indian Entries by Tribe" allows students to answer questions like, "Who were some famous Blackfeet?" and "American Indian Entries by Area of Activity" questions like, "Who were some Indian scouts and guides?" "Entries by Topic" has headings for exploration, mining and gold rushes, trade language studies, modern medicine, and names of specific battles and wars. "Entries by Historical Period" lists, e.g., early contact (1000-1599), colonization (1600-88), French and Indian Wars (1689-1763). In short, the organization of this work is very handy. Highly recommended for public, school, and academic libraries. L. K. Miller Paradise Valley Community College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This useful revision of the author's standard Who Was Who in Native American History (Facts On File, 1990) contains updated entries on approximately 1,000 notable Native and non-Native people in the U.S. and Canada from precontact until the end of the nineteenth century. Although most of the material was written by Waldman, the update also includes some abridged entries from Liz Sonneborn's A to Z of Native American Women (Facts On File, 1998). Thirty-nine entries are new. The volume is particularly strong in the areas of medicine men, tribal leaders, warriors, religious leaders, and scouts but also includes information on educators, artists, explorers, and scholars. Also found here are entries for infamous non-Native Americans like George Custer, as well as artists like Charles M. Russell, collectors like James Swan, and captives like Hannah Swarton. The entries are two to five paragraphs in length and arranged alphabetically under the best-known last name or common name of the biographee. Immediately following the name, all alternate names or spellings are listed in parentheses. The beginning of each entry also includes tribal affiliation, birth and death dates when known, and an identifying phrase. Succinct but engaging essays provide additional information about the life and deeds of the subject and the importance or role of the person in history. Cross-referencing links entries that are related. Some 57 black-and-white photographs accompany the text, as well as one map and a five-page unannotated bibliography. Helpful indexing includes listings of Native Americans by tribe and by type of activity and of non-Indians by area of activity or occupation as well as new historical period, subject, and general indexes. Overall, the entries are well written and informative. This is a good first source for quick, accurate, ready-reference information. It does a much better job than The Encyclopedia of Native American Biography (Holt, 1997), which contains numerous errors. Biographical Dictionary of American Indian History to 1900 is appropriate for all school, public, and college libraries where there is an interest in the topic.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.