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From the Deep Woods to Civilization

Charles Alexander Eastman

Book Overview: 

From the Deep Woods to Civilization is the sequel to Indian Boyhood. Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) gives his account of what it was like to transition from the ways of his Inidan life to that of the white man. His father, long thought dead, had converted to Christianity and wished the same for his son as well as receiving education in the white man's school. At the age of 15, Ohiyesa must learn to balance the old familiar life of the American Indian with that of the new in the world of the white man, one of his first acts being the cutting of his long hair and attending school. It also chronicles his life of college to becoming a doctor at Pine Ridge in South Dakota, his marriage to Elaine Goodale, and his involvement in politics, the YMCA, and Boy Scouts of America.

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Community Reviews

Eastman's memoir is written in careful and dignified prose and details the events of his transition from native life to "civilization." The memoir begins with the author's extraction from his tribe by his long-absent father, who has returned to raise his son in the ways of the white man. Despite the

This is pretty hard to read. In some ways the guy really did the best he could. In other ways, he was a total sellout. You can hardly blame him... but things come out of his mouth that REALLY SHOULDN'T. Get what I mean?

This is a really beautiful book! I'm really glad that I met with my professor before reading this because she informed me (and I'm totally paraphrasing) that this book actually was written for white moderates in the early 20th century in order to gain support for Indians in government positions as w

I highly recommend it, easy to read. He was a good writer. His story tells about the conflicts he endured in his mind transitioning from a Native upbringing in a Plains teepee, to an educated Christian phase of his life, one that his father had encouraged him to undertake. Here is his personal exper

The author’s father was arrested, along with dozens of others, after the 1862 Indian revolt in Minnesota, and was presumed executed. The boy was raised by his grandmother and uncle among a band of Sioux that had fled across the Canada line. When he was a teenager, his father (who had been pardoned b

One of my first Native American Lit reads. I appreciated his style of writing. I would like to revisit this once I have read more Native American literature and see if I view this book the same. I think that Eastman was very honest and trusting, something he implies comes from his Native American ro

I thought this would be an interesting book to use in a class focused on individuals who were in conflict with their society. As a Native American man who pursued an education in late 19th-century/early 20th-century US schools and universities, Ohiyesa faced discrimination as he earned a medical deg

Fascinating to have Eastman share his story of leaving his traditional American Indian youth in Canada following the US Dakota War of 1862 and entering into the white culture after his father returned for him and brought him back to the United States. The choices he faced and challenges of being a p

Eastman's memoir is written in careful and dignified prose and details the events of his transition from native life to "civilization." The memoir begins with the author's extraction from his tribe by his long-absent father, who has returned to raise his son in the ways of the white man. Despite the

From the Deep Woods to Civilization is the account of Charles Alexander Eastman/Ohiyesa's journey through boarding school, Beloit and Dartmouth Colleges, his early years as a physician, and his career in public service. Spanning the 1870s through 1910s, the book is an important document of crucial d

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