This is a big, heavy book that carries a message equally substantial. For every textbook about Indians written by anthropologists there should be one that comes straight from Indian Country, written (told) by those whose experiences we do not hear about often enough. Credit goes to Russell Means here for telling a story that rings with authority, grit, and, finally, hope.
Yet it is not only a story: Means's many opinions about aspects of white society--and of his own--had me marking numerous pages for later reference. And his most famous speech, included in the book's appendix, is a razor-sharp indictment of the (European) worldview that has in many ways yet to earn a respectful place in this world. Ultimately this book is about just that: Respect. "Indians are dying of sympathy," Means says. "What we want is RESPECT."
WHERE WHITE MEN FEAR TO TREAD, though long, is never tedious, doesn't tip-toe, and continues to pull the reader along. This is an important book, and I hope its message--rough edges and all--makes an impact.