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Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  401 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Claiming that science has created a largely fictional scenario for American Indians in prehistoric North America, Deloria offers an alternative view of the continent's history as seen through the eyes and memories of Native Americans.
Paperback, 271 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Fulcrum Publishing (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,274)
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Robin Eseny
Sep 07, 2014 Robin Eseny rated it did not like it
Structurally well-written but rife with bitterness (understandable), conspiracy theories, wishful thinking, pseudoscience, red herrings, ad hominem attacks and logical fallacies.

I approached this book hoping to learn about another culture's thinking and traditions but found little but an attempt to substitute mythology as fact for reasoned, evidence-based investigation.

When the author gloated that the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter was vindication for Immanuel Velikovsky's unfounded
Jaybird Rex
Want to be coaxed into some genuine outside-the-box thinking? Deloria very casually picks apart several fundamentals of modern western science (evolution, geology, carbon dating, migration and glacial theories) that most of us tend to take as a matter of faith, despite serious gaps and unanswered questions. Having discredited these, he proceeds to consider numerous Indian oral traditions and stories as possible remembered explanations of ancient events. Obviously these are worth exploring, but D ...more
Dec 05, 2010 Tara rated it really liked it
I picked this up while with some friends and thought "Oh dear, more ammo for everyone who thinks I'm a crazy leftist." Well, that was true. Listen, there's some things in here that I'm not sure are so accurate. But academic orthodoxy is always reluctant to question itself, and power structures impose meanings and explanations on the people they oppress which are often absurdly and patently false. It's been this way for far too long, and it's good to question and poke fun at the vain and self-sat ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Victor rated it really liked it
The Bering Strait Theory is nonsense, argues Deloria. Indians did not migrate across a land bridge from Eurasia to the Americas during the Ice Age, as Western archeologists claim. Deloria exposes the flaws of this popular migration theory and shows that it does not even stand up on its own scientific terms. Deloria also blasts the arrogance of Western anthropologists who purport to know more about the origins of American Indians than the Indians themselves. The author points out that not one myt ...more
Apr 16, 2008 Patti rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: History buffs, anyone interested in truth
Recommended to Patti by: a Cherokee cousin
They took basically a good informative book and just added more words than neccessary.
Clancy Coonradt
Feb 03, 2015 Clancy Coonradt rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book that allows the reader to gain a much more complete understanding of not only American Indian histories, but history of the world. Vine Deloria Jr. addresses many misconceptions and scientific myths, while giving Indian legends that fill in many gaps that science has been unable, or unwilling, to accept from the Indian culture. This book would be recommended for children learning a basic history of the world, and adults who would like to challenge their knowledge and wh ...more
Dec 25, 2007 Meg rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those interested in deconstruction of created history
This is the first Vine Deloria book I ever read and I have read many of his books since. Deloria deconstructs the current details of the theory of evolution (not to say he speaks as a "creationist" and see "Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths" for more on that...), but particularly where it blatantly ignores Native American history as experienced by Native Americans. Of particular interest is the deconstruction of the "Indians migrated across the Bering Sea back when there was an ice ...more
Nicolina Miller
Jan 13, 2014 Nicolina Miller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This book should be on every college reading list, but it won't be, as it offers a new and critical perspective on institutionalized knowledge. Even if when you read it you don't subscribe to Deloria's well-researched and clear-cut theories (which when presented are pretty hard to argue with), you will still come away with something worthwhile. And that's a new way of seeing. Deloria asks us all to suspend group thought and use our minds, all of our brain capacity, to reason out hypotheses, theo ...more
Nov 20, 2009 secondwomn rated it it was ok
borrowed from morgan. i honestly don't know how to rate this book - i like the thought behind it but loathe the writing. i think there are some really good questions being asked here, but vine deloria jr. takes such an aggressively caustic and bitter tone throughout that i find myself thinking as much about what a problem he must be to work with as what he's writing about. the attitude derailed the book for me. plus, i find it hard to take anyone seriously who makes sweeping generalizations - de ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Evelyn added it
native american creation stories that run counter to modern science. Yeah, there are a lot of problems in modern science's "theories." But don't let the fundamentalist christians get ahold of this, they will just take it as validation for their single-minded world view. Deloria acknowledges and validates all indigenous creation stories, even if tehy are mutually contradictory.
Jeremy Peterson
Jul 28, 2016 Jeremy Peterson rated it really liked it
If you read this book intending to discover breakthroughs in fields of study and legitimate challenges to existing evidence based research, then you may be disappointed. If you want to understand the perspective of the author and learn about native culture while exploring some ideas that share parallels in modern science, then enjoy.
David Kessler
Dec 13, 2012 David Kessler rated it liked it
So should scientists consider the lore of Native Americans when doing their research? Is scientific research any more valid than the stories which have been passed from generation to generation?
Food for thought. And some very valid points by the author, Vine Deloria, when thinking about the theory of evolution and the other scientific idea of the bridge from Russia to Alaska which allowed the plants and animals a route to North America.
Jul 30, 2011 Alicedewonder rated it it was amazing
When Dr. Deloria, Jr. was alive I had the privilege of speaking with him on many occasions about his book Custer Died for Our Sins. When I was half-way through this text I didn't need to call him anymore, but I did just to commend him for his work.
Opinionated? I suppose he had to be in order to protect and defend what little is left of Indian culture, and Indian land.
He was a remarkable man who left his legacy in these outstanding pages.
Jan 16, 2008 Taylor rated it it was amazing
This book totally fucked up my paradigm, which puts it in category of the best kind of book to read. It elaborates on many of the scientific 'facts' that are completely baseless yet are readily believed as thoroughly proven. It also matches up indigenous oral tradition to the geological record to shed a more elucidating light on the history of North America.

Read. This. Shit.
Julie H.
Jul 12, 2009 Julie H. marked it as to-read
It's always important to listen to the arguments of your harshest critics. The late Dr. Deloria is a well-known spokesman for the critique of anthropology and other social scientific claims that often dismiss native traditions as inaccurate myth in the face of western science.
Christopher Stegeman
Mar 13, 2010 Christopher Stegeman rated it really liked it
Pointed out how dominant eurocentric mythologies bolster supreme truth over the indigenous narrative despite that fact that many were haphazardly put together as political fillers to a swiss-cheese plot (particularly baring straight theory)
Feb 23, 2012 Abcdarian rated it it was ok
2-1/2 stars. Not well written, but it does present some interesting counterpoints to currently accepted theories of prehistory.
I always enjoy a book that makes me smirk at egg on science's dogmatic face. This book gave me a lot to think about.
Linda Robinson
Aug 11, 2009 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read. For those addicted to the history of copper mining in Michigan, do not miss this one.
Abenaki Badger
Aug 04, 2008 Abenaki Badger rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone seeking truth
Recommended to Abenaki by: no one. I saw it in abook catalog.
To not believe everything that is spoken,written,
or published to be fact regardless of how convincing.
don't attempt to read this chapter by chapter, read piece by piece and let it soak in
Jun 15, 2012 Darlene rated it it was amazing
As always a very good read but it's been quite awhile since I've read it.
Jun 05, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I'm reading this (AGAIN).. It's rapidly becoming one of my favorites..
Aug 17, 2016 Aaron rated it liked it
Shelves: aaron-s-books
Dec 09, 2007 Tommy rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the reasons why I didn't go to medical school.
Debra Wills
Debra Wills marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2016
Deliah Novak
Deliah Novak rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2016
Legend marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Sarah Sevedge
Sarah Sevedge rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2016
Latonya marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2016
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Vine Victor Deloria, Jr. was an American Indian author, theologian, historian, and activist. He was widely known for his book Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (1969), which helped generate national attention to Native American issues in the same year as the Alcatraz-Red Power Movement. From 1964–1967, he had served as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, i ...more
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