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Medicine Bags and Dog Tags: American Indian Veterans from Colonial Times to the Second Iraq War

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As far back as colonial times, Native individuals and communities have fought alongside European and American soldiers against common enemies. Medicine Bags and Dog Tags is the story of these Native men and women whose military service has defended ancient homelands, perpetuated longstanding warrior traditions, and promoted tribal survival and sovereignty. Drawing on a ric As far back as colonial times, Native individuals and communities have fought alongside European and American soldiers against common enemies. Medicine Bags and Dog Tags is the story of these Native men and women whose military service has defended ancient homelands, perpetuated longstanding warrior traditions, and promoted tribal survival and sovereignty. Drawing on a rich array of archival records and oral traditions, Al Carroll offers the most complete account of Native veterans to date and is the first to take an international approach, drawing comparisons with Native veteran traditions in Canada and Mexico. He debunks the “natural warrior” stereotype as well as the popular assumption that Natives join the military as a refuge against extreme poverty and as a form of assimilation. The reasons for enlistment, he argues, though varied and complex, are invariably connected to the relative strengths of tribal warrior traditions within communities. Carroll provides a fascinating look at how the culture and training of the American military influenced the makeup and tactics of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s and 1970s and how, in turn, Natives have influenced U.S. military tactics, symbolism, and basic training.


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As far back as colonial times, Native individuals and communities have fought alongside European and American soldiers against common enemies. Medicine Bags and Dog Tags is the story of these Native men and women whose military service has defended ancient homelands, perpetuated longstanding warrior traditions, and promoted tribal survival and sovereignty. Drawing on a ric As far back as colonial times, Native individuals and communities have fought alongside European and American soldiers against common enemies. Medicine Bags and Dog Tags is the story of these Native men and women whose military service has defended ancient homelands, perpetuated longstanding warrior traditions, and promoted tribal survival and sovereignty. Drawing on a rich array of archival records and oral traditions, Al Carroll offers the most complete account of Native veterans to date and is the first to take an international approach, drawing comparisons with Native veteran traditions in Canada and Mexico. He debunks the “natural warrior” stereotype as well as the popular assumption that Natives join the military as a refuge against extreme poverty and as a form of assimilation. The reasons for enlistment, he argues, though varied and complex, are invariably connected to the relative strengths of tribal warrior traditions within communities. Carroll provides a fascinating look at how the culture and training of the American military influenced the makeup and tactics of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s and 1970s and how, in turn, Natives have influenced U.S. military tactics, symbolism, and basic training.

30 review for Medicine Bags and Dog Tags: American Indian Veterans from Colonial Times to the Second Iraq War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Iraqwarvet

    I read this book after coming back from Iraq. Knew quite a few American Indian vets. This really helped me understand why they joined. I thought they were crazy. This country ahs treated them like spit, or something that rhymes with spit. And yet they join. Now I know they join for their own reasons and fight for their own reasons. I had no idea just how big and powerful being vets was as a tradition of theirs. If you want to understand Native vets, this is the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Martine

    I really liked this book for giving me an understanding of a topic I knew nothing about. I thought I don't know enough, so why not use others words, see what the reviews have to say: "Al Carroll has written a cogent, readable, scholarly, and comprehensive study of Native American veterans from a Native perspective." Gretchen Healy, Tribal College Journal "An interesting and provocative book, Medicine Bags and Dog Tags succeeds in providing an Indian perspective on military service and its effect I really liked this book for giving me an understanding of a topic I knew nothing about. I thought I don't know enough, so why not use others words, see what the reviews have to say: "Al Carroll has written a cogent, readable, scholarly, and comprehensive study of Native American veterans from a Native perspective." Gretchen Healy, Tribal College Journal "An interesting and provocative book, Medicine Bags and Dog Tags succeeds in providing an Indian perspective on military service and its effects on cultural renewal and perseverance." Thomas A. Britten, Great Plains Quarterly. "[This book] should be in the hands of not only Native but non-Indians veterans and service groups, in order to better understand why we serve, fight, and die in the service of the United States, and how best to honor Native soldiers and veterans." Debra Utacia Krol (Salinan/Essalen), Native Peoples magazine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    T Robideau

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thelma Robideau

  5. 4 out of 5

    James Johanson

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Raven

  7. 4 out of 5

    J Walsh

  8. 4 out of 5

    Al Carroll

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vern Gabriel

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alois Baden

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wes

  12. 4 out of 5

    Native Voice

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julia Walsh

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nate

  15. 5 out of 5

    James Boyle

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Armstrong

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jody Metcalfe

  18. 4 out of 5

    G.A. Wiklow

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wikiquote francophone

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jake

  22. 5 out of 5

    Octavian

  23. 5 out of 5

    Al Carroll

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lady Nefertankh

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Allen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine Schwarz

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