by Michael John Witgen
Against long odds, the Anishinaabeg resisted removal, retaining thousands of acres of their homeland in what is now Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Their success rested partly on their roles as sellers of natural resources and buyers of trade goods, which made them key players in the political economy of plunder that drove white settlement and U.S. development in the Old Northwest. But, as Michael Witgen demonstrates, the credit for Native persistence rested with the Anishinaabeg themselves. Outnumbering white settlers well into the nineteenth century, they leveraged their political savvy to advance a dual citizenship that enabled mixed-race tribal members to lay claim to a place in U.S. civil society. Telling the stories of mixed-race traders and missionaries, tribal leaders and territorial governors, Witgen challenges our assumptions about the inevitability of U.S. expansion.
Deeply researched and passionately written, Seeing Redwill command attention from readers who are invested in the enduring issues of equality, equity, and national belonging at its core.
Interview with the Author
New Books Network
Michael John Witgen, “Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America” (UNC Press, 2021)
7/28/22 60 min
Ben Franklin’s World
323 Michael Witgen, American Expansion and the Political Economy of Plunder
3/1/22 83 min
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