Through an Indian's Looking-Glass
A Cultural Biography of William Apess, Pequot
University of Massachusetts Press 2017
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network November 10, 2017 Ryan Tripp
Through meticulous archival research, close readings of key works, and informed and imaginative speculation about a largely enigmatic life, Red Ink author Drew Lopenzina provides a vivid portrait of a singular Native American figure in Through an Indian’s Looking-Glass: A Cultural Biography of William Apess, Pequot (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017).
This “cultural biography” provides a lens through which to comprehend the complex dynamics of indigenous survival and resistance in the era of America’s early nationhood. William Apess’s life intersects with multiple aspects of indigenous identity and existence in this period, including indentured servitude, slavery, service in the armed forces, syncretic engagements with Methodist spirituality, and Native struggles for political and cultural autonomy. Even more, Apess offers a powerful and provocative voice for the persistence of Native American presence in a time and place that was long supposed to have settled its Indian question in favor of extinction. This new biography will sit alongside Apess’s own writing as vital reading for those interested in early America and indigeneity.
Ryan Tripp is an adjunct instructor for several community colleges and online university extensions. In 2014, he graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Ph.D. in History. His Ph.D. double minor included World History and Native American Studies, with an emphasis in Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous Archeology.