Choctaws in a Revolutionary Age 1750-1830

May 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 15-4: Ancient Cultures Modern Technology, Media Reviews

CHOCTAWS COVERby Greg O’Brien
University of Nebraska Press (2002). 160 pages
ISBN 0803235690
$45.00

Review by Mark Holman

Choctaws in a Revolutionary Age 1750-1830 is not light reading. The book explores the changing concepts of power in Choctaw society by analyzing the lives of two Choctaw leaders named Taboca and Franchinmastabe.

The concepts of power among the Choctaw were being influenced by the impact of the European and Colonial American presence. Franchinmastabe utilized European influence to increase his power, while Taboca’s power came from within Choctaw society.

The book assumes that the reader has a great deal of background in history and anthropology and is steeped in the terminology of these fields, making it difficult reading at times.

The author says, “I have consciously tried to tell the story from my interpretation of a Choctaw perspective, though I do not pretend to be Choctaw myself.” He notes the inherent flaws in a historical record written only from the European perspective.

Dr. O’Brien is associate professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has published several articles on history, focusing his research on Choctaw and Chickasaw history. This is his first book.

I would recommend this book for research collections in the tribal college library but not for the general reader.

Mark Holman is the library director at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, ND.

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