Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 26:1 (Winter 2006) Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Woody Kipp's life story is a reflection of a new generation of Native writers and activists. His autobiography has nothing to do with trying to save the white world from itself or to explain Indians to a curious and perhaps even sympathetic white audience. The white world literally and figuratively took aim at Woody Kipp (and a number of other American Indian Vietnam veterans) for daring to oppose the injustices he saw in Indian life. He became, as the title of his book indicates, the then-current enemy of the American state. He was, ironically, a domestic version of the Viet Cong he had fought as a young Marine in Vietnam.