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The Hunt for Willie Boy: Indian-Hating and Popular Culture
In The Hunt for Willie Boy: Indian-Hating and Popular Culture, James A. Sandos and Larry E. Burgess retell the story of the Paiute-Chemehuevi Indian, Willie Boy, using previously unheard Indian voices and correcting the prevailing white story in almost every major detail. In September 1909 a sensational double killing in Southern California led to what has been called the ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by University of Oklahoma Press
(first published 1994)
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"The Hunt for Willie Boy: Indian Hating & Popular Culture" by James A. Sandos and Larry E. Burgess retells the story that some call the last great western manhunt. According to contemporary accounts, an Indian called Willie Boy became drunk, murdered “Old Mike,” kidnapped his daughter and fled into the California desert pursued by a posse. Later he supposedly killed the girl when she became a drag. Finally, cornered and out of supplies, Willie Boy shot himself with his last bullet.
The story ...more
The story ...more
What strikes me most about this book is the intimation throughout of two contrary world views. One group of persons knows they are and intimate and intrinsic element of nature, yet no more nor less important than the wasp and the honeysuckle and the silted river. The other treats nature as the enemy, to be subjugated and manipulated and ultimately destroyed.
A noble and conscientious retelling of an important desert story, this little book demonstrates just about the best that rational, methodical science can do with history. For a better sense of the Willie Boy legend, we'd have to hunker down around the fire with a good Native storyteller.