Summary Of Robert Berkhofer's The Idea Of The Indian

Robert Berkhofer’s The Idea of the Indian: Invention and Perpetuation introduces a critical and thorough narrative of the perception of “Native Americans” from the early European colonizer perspective. Further, Berkhofer evaluates how this definition has historically transcended into the diluted idea of the “Indian,” discussing the latter’s cultural and societal implications.

Berkhofer first introduces the early white settlers’ classification of Native American group, which were cited as varying greatly in cultural values, behaviors, languages and physical attributes. While the colonizers were aware of the differences between various Native American groups, the latter were nonetheless universally classified as “Indians”. In this, Berkhofer

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