Money Pitcher: Chief Bender and the Tragedy of Indian Assimilation

May 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 19-4: Success by Accountability and Assessment, Media Reviews

Pennsylvania State University Press (2006)

Review by James Thull

In this book William Kashatus tells the unique life story of Charles Albert Bender, a mixed-blood Ojibwa. Bender, in many ways, successfully assimilated himself into white society. He sought out and attended off-reservation schools aimed at educating Native Americans in the ways and language of white society, attended college, and had a very successful career in professional baseball. At the same time, he was paid much less than his white counterparts. He had to endure racial slurs on an almost daily basis and often struggled to reconcile the culture of his birth and the one he chose to live in.

Money Pitcher is a pleasurable read. It will appeal to both sports fans and those with a general interest in Native American history. He consistently provides the reader with an understanding of the times that Bender lived through and the struggles he endured. I recommend this book for purchase by tribal libraries.

James Thull holds a Master of Arts in History and a master’s of Library and Information Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He currently works as a reference librarian and assistant professor at Montana State University-Bozeman and has been the assistant coordinator of the Tribal College Librarians Institute since 2005.

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