In this devastating and important account, Jeffrey Ostler brings to light the broad sweep of early US genocidal policies implemented before the more familiar period of the so-called Indian Wars of the late nineteenth century. By highlighting the preremoval period and more closely examining postremoval Native America through the Civil War, Ostler challenges us to broaden the spectrum of genocidal policy and military actions, as well as settler practices, to include dispossession and its entangled relationship with disease, demography, interethnic warfare, and cultural disintegration. As he eloquently observes, “For Native people in real historical time . . . this was the challenge before them: to avoid what they perceived as the very real possibility that their communities, their people, their nations would be totally annihilated” (7).

This book is part of a larger two-volume project seeking to recalibrate Native American history between...

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