Indians, Animals and the Fur Trade
A Critique of Keepers of the Game

Edited by Shepard Krech III


"The essayists in the present book give no support whatever to Martin's condescending revival of the irrational savage, and it should be said plainly that this book stands head and shoulders above Martin's Keepers in reliable, documented information, in logic, and in candor. These are carefully considered inquiries far removed from polemics. Much more than Martin's work, they deserve historians' attention as models of how anthropologists can use empirical methods and data in approaching issues of historical as well as ethnological importance."
Journal of American History

"An outstanding exploration of the ethnohistorical issues with far wider implications. Highly recommended for programs in anthropology, economic history, and comparative religion."

Exploring the motivations of Indians involved in the fur trade, the contributors to this volume challenge the spiritualist interpretation set forth by Calvin Martin in Keepers of the Game, which dismisses the lure of European goods--the power and leisure that firearms and other tools afforded the Indians--and instead attributes the Indians' willingness to overkill wildlife to the epidemics that decimated their ranks, that not only shattered their religious bonds with game but also unleashed a furious revenge against the animals.

Page count: 216 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $24.95

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Shepard Krech III is a professor of anthropology and director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University. He is a past president of the American Society for Ethnohistory and has been a fellow and trustee of the National Humanities Center. His many books include Spirits of the Air (Georgia), The Ecological Indian and Encyclopedia of World Environmental History.