Cover image for American Indian quotations
American Indian quotations
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, c1996.
Physical Description:
xix, 260 p. : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1100 L Lexile
Added Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book R 973.0497 AME 1 1

On Order



The first book of American Indian quotations, this volume offers 800 quotations covering more than four centuries of American life. The quotations include the words of warriors, poets, politicians, doctors, lawyers, athletes, and others. Arranged chronologically, they enable one to follow the history of American Indians since Columbus through the words of those who lived through centuries of despoilment, disease, and death. Putting real people into the tragedy that has been the story of Indian life, the book includes quotes not only about historic incidents, but also of Indian views on education, values, ecology, family, and religion. There is humor as well as quotations of defiance, war, and bloodshed. The language is rich and colorful, always moving.

The book provides brief biographical information on those quoted, including both contemporary and historical figures. The material is cross-referenced with subject, key word, author, and tribal indexes. The work is a reference book, a history book, and a resource for speakers and educators.

Author Notes

HOWARD J. LANGER is an independent researcher and freelance writer./e He has produced a range of materials on American and world history in many different formats, written numerous magazine articles, and authored three books.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Among their hundreds of pages, standard quotation books only include a few quotations from Native Americans, and the ones they include about Native Americans are often the same old derogatory sayings. Many other Native Americans besides Geronimo, Chief Joseph, Seattle, Sitting Bull, and Tecumseh have spoken profound words or written great thoughts. Users of this resource will become acquainted with many other Native Americans. Charles Curtis, Larry Echohawk, Ishi, Susan LaFlesche Picotte, Tatanga Mani, Grace Thorpe, and Annie Dodge Wauneka are among the more than 200 Native Americans who speak forth, cry out, and share their cultures. This book contains almost 800 quotations from the sixteenth century to the present; the number of contemporary quotations included is significant. Arrangement is chronological by speaker. U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell was selected for inclusion, as were Dennis Banks, Russell Means, and prizewinning authors Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich. The source for each quotation is given (page numbers are not, however). Although the sources are varied, quite a few are modern books by major publishers. Smaller presses are also represented, as are literary and other magazines. A small section at the end of the book contains anonymous quotations, prayers, and proverbs. A sentence or two of biographical information is provided for each author, and his or her tribe is identified immediately before the quotations. Black-and-white portraits are provided for 22 of the people. There are three indexes: author, subject and keyword, and tribe. Necessary cross-references are given in the author and tribe indexes. Patrons at public, secondary-school, and academic libraries need to hear the voices of these Native Americans. They will be informed, enlightened, and enriched by this source.

Choice Review

Most collections of American quotations include only a few words by Native Americans. Like other recent books of Native American quotations (e.g., Words of Power: Voices from Indian America, ed. by Norbert S. Hill Jr., 1994), this volume intends to fill that gap. At 800 quotations (22 accompanied by black-and-white portraits), this is the largest recent compendium of quotations. Unlike other recent volumes (e.g., Native Wisdom, ed. by Joseph Bruchac, 1995) organized according to native themes such as the land, spirituality, or struggle, Langer's volume is divided into sections on attributed quotes and anonymous sayings of various tribes. The quotes are arranged chronologically, running from the mid-16th century to the 1990s. Each numbered entry gives a brief explanatory paragraph about the author, or in the case of anonymous entries, the historical context for the quotation. Following the entries are author, subject/keyword, and tribal indexes. The words of many well-known Indian leaders and orators are represented, as are the voices of contemporary native writers, politicians, and educators. Recommended for all academic library collections. C. E. Carter University of New Mexico

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