From the Deep Woods to Civilization

Written by Charles A. Eastman

“Has a many-sided appeal …. This stimulating book is one of the few that really deserve the over-worked term, a human document.” — Publishers Weekly.

Charles Alexander Eastman was “one of the most prolific authors and speakers on Sioux ethnohistory and American Indian affairs.” — Studies in American Indian Literature

This autobiography follows from his work Indian Boyhood and covers the period of his life when he was wrenched away from his Native American roots to begin his education among white people until he eventually became a doctor at Boston University.

Told with utter honesty, this book provides fascinating insight into the developments of a young Sioux man as he encounters and begins to understand the new United States of America that was growing around him at the turn of twentieth century.

Particularly fascinating chapters are those that detail Eastman’s return to the Pine Ridge Indian agency to become a doctor for the reservation. He records what he sees with exquisite detail, providing one of the few Native American accounts of their own people.

“Breaking down prejudices and destroying old enmities … a good story delightfully told.” — The Independent

“The most prominent literary spokesman of the Indian … his achievement will remain unique.” — New York Medical Journal

“Many a thrilling episode … a gripping lesson in each chapter … interesting.” — American Indian Magazine

This book is essential reading for anyone interested in late nineteenth century Native American studies and for people who wish to find out more about the changing relationships between Native Americans and the United States of America during that period.

Charles Alexander Eastman was a Santee Dakotaphysician educated at Boston University, writer, national lecturer, and reformer. After working as a physician on reservations in South Dakota, he became increasingly active in politics and issues on Native Americanrights, he worked to improve the lives of youths, and founded thirty-two Native American chapters of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He also helped found the Boy Scouts of America. He is considered the first Native American author to write American history from the Native American point of view. His book, From the Deep Woods to Civilization was first published in 1916. He passed away in 1939.

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