Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Major Problems in American Indian History, 3rd Edition

  • Albert L. Hurtado
  • Peter Iverson
  • Willy Bauer
  • Stephen Amerman
  • ISBN-10: 1133944191
  • ISBN-13: 9781133944195
  • 544 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2001, 1994
  • COPYRIGHT: 2015 Published
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About the Product

This text presents a carefully selected group of readings, on topics such as European encounters and contemporary Native American activism that allow students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions.


  • Emphasizes American Indian history beyond the year 1900; nearly a third of the book is devoted to the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Advances the general theme of Indian agency over victimization.

  • Presents an Indian-centered, rather than European-directed, story.

  • Includes both written texts and oral sources.

  • Highlights those Indigenous people who continue to live east of the Mississippi River in the 20th century.


“The selection of primary source materials perfectly illustrates the themes of each of the chapters. They are easy to use in discussions with the students because they are generally pithy and memorable. The articles chosen for each chapter compliment each other well, whether they approach the same subject in different ways, or illuminate differing viewpoints on the same subject. The chapter sequencing and organization works well....It's wonderful to have such a comprehensive text that uses primary sources to illustrate points being made in the articles. And then the articles in each chapter compliment each other well. When I use a Major Problems text, I can always count on students commenting on the Primary sources, and understanding pretty well what the article authors are trying to convey. This makes for excellent discussions in class and students who are willing to get the reading done. This volume is no different; this is why I use it!”
— Rosanne Barker, Sam Houston State University

About the Author

Albert L. Hurtado

ALBERT L. HURTADO, now retired, was professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, where he taught courses on American Indian history and the American West. He is past president of the Western History Association and the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. His prize-winning books include Indian Survival on the California Frontier (1988), and Intimate Frontiers: Sex, Gender, and Culture in Old California (1999). He has published many articles. Hurtado’s most recent book is Herbert Eugene Bolton: Historian of the American Borderlands (2012).

Peter Iverson

PETER IVERSON is Regents' Professor of History (Emeritus) at Arizona State University. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Iverson has written many books in modern American Indian history, including The Navajo Nation (1981), Carlos Montezuma (1982), When Indians Became Cowboys (1994), “We Are Still Here” (1999), Dine: A History of the Navajos (2002), and, with former Navajo Nation president, Peterson Zah, We Will Secure Our Future (2012). His work has been supported by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment For the Humanities. At Arizona State University Iverson directed or co-directed 51 Ph.D. students to completion of their programs. He served as president of the Western History Association in 2004-2005.

Willy Bauer

WILLIAM J. BAUER, JR., professor of history at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas and enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of “We Were All Like Migrant Workers Here”: Work, Community and Memory on California’s Round Valley Reservation, 1850-1941 (2009) and has published articles in The Western Historical Quarterly, American Indian Quarterly, and Boom!: A Journal of California. His ongoing research interests include the history of Indigenous people in California and oral traditions during the Great Depression.

Stephen Amerman

STEPHEN KENT AMERMAN, professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University, received his B.A. from Duke University and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He teaches courses on American Indian history as well as western and environmental history. He is the author of the book, Urban Indians in Phoenix Schools, 1940-2000 (2010) and has published articles in American Indian Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and the Journal of Arizona History. His ongoing research interests include the history of Indigenous peoples in Connecticut and southern New England, particularly.

Table of Contents

1. Approaching American Indian History.
2. Early American History.
3. Strangers on the Shores, 1492-1600.
4. Southern and Northern Encounters, 1600-1700.
5. Eastern Encounters, 1600-1700.
6. War and Survival, 1700-1763.
7. Continental Transformations, 1763-1815.
8. A Tightening Circle, 1750 -1840.
9. Native People Confront Westward Expansion, 1840-1865.
10. Resistance, Restrictions, and Renewals, 1865-1890.
11. Education, Land and Sovereignty in the Assimilation Era, 1890-1920.
12. New Deals and Old Deals, 1920-1940.
13. Wars Abroad and at Home, 1941-1960.
14. Taking Control of Education, Land, and Lives, 1960-1981.
15. Identity, History, and Economic Development in the 21st Century.

New to this edition

  • The third edition has been extensively revised and updated to reflect the latest trends and scholarship in the field.
  • More than half of the essays are new to the third edition.
  • The third edition is organized more chronologically than previous editions.
  • There is an increased focus on gender.
  • Includes two essays that focus on urban Indian communities in the 20th century.