Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 13:1 (Winter 1993). Copyright © 1993 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Understanding the significance of the General Allotment Act of 1887 (Dawes Act) is central to any rational analysis of the present condition of the American Indian population. McDonnell has, in The Dispossession of the American Indian, 1887-1934, given us an excellent primer on the reasoning for the establishment of the Dawes Act and how it has affected the lives of the peoples it was designed to help. Although more than 20 percent of this little book is devoted to notes and bibliography, it is a valuable contribution to American Indian literature and a timely addition to the quincentenary debate.