Eastman, Charles

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  • Charles Eastman (1858–1939), a Santee Sioux also known as Ohiyesa, became one of the foremost advocates of American Indian assimilation in the first decade of the twentieth century. Surgeon, political activist, reformer, and the author of eleven books, he argued in perhaps one of his most profound books, The Indian Today (1915), that the old American Indian way of life was over and that the American Indian had to embrace progress in order to survive. However, if he came to live in two worlds, he managed to transcend both by suggesting that traditional American Indian beliefs could be fused with the modern to create a new dualism for the American Indian. If his books often told a white audience what they wanted to hear, he ...

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