Cover Image: The Great Vanishing Act

The Great Vanishing Act

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Member Reviews

I feel like I learned a lot from this book, even though I was definitely not its intended audience. I especially thought the play was great for understanding modern Native experiences in the dating world. The order of the stories, essays, and other contributions was perfect, as every part built off each other. Overall, I feel like I have a better view on modern American Indian culture and struggles, even though I've never met a person from that group. In my opinion, it would be more beneficial to market this more clearly to American Indians, as it is written as a discussion of their issues, although I gained a lot from reading it as a white person.
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Blood Quantum and Native identity is something that a lot of people outside of Native issues know very little about.  The concept is interesting and how it affects native peoples is complex and multilayered - imagine needing to be concerned with the percentage of your potential romantic partner's genetic ties to your tribe and how it would affect your children's ability to be accepted into the tribe?  Of course, as an outsider, it's easy to say whether you find that concern hard to swallow (I mean, isn't "love is love" our mantra these days?), but the realities of the disappearing native peoples throughout the world make this consideration a practical one.  

This anthology of different writings from native peoples throughout the world helps to illustrate different perspectives about the identity issues facing these communities.  There are views that span the whole spectrum, from those who are passionate about keeping their bloodline (but also frustrated as the bloodline gets smaller and smaller and the threat of inbreeding becomes larger and larger) to those who reject the idea of it, and everything in between.

This would be an excellent read for a college course but also for anyone curious about identity, identity politics, and/or Native issues.  I highly recommend this book.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Fulcrum Publishing for allowing me to access a digital copy of this book to review. It took me a long time to work through this book, because identity issues are something that personally impact me. This is a collection (made up mostly of essays) related to the concept and practice of using blood quantum to define who we are as tribal citizens. 
These essays discuss how the things that make up tribal nations aren't measurements of blood, but encompass a variety of other factors. Even though a lot of the time I struggle with not feeling "native enough", reading through these essays reinforced that my ancestors would be proud of me. Our culture isn't tied to blood quantum. It's tied to our languages, our creation stories, our shared histories, and our shared resilience. 
I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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The Great Vanishing Act is a very interesting and comprehensive collection of mostly essays about the concept of blood quantum and the definition of Native people. It deals with questions and problems regarding Native citizenships and the preservation of Native cultures. Personally, I found it very informative, it definitely broadened my horizon and I can only recommend it.
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This book is a series of documents that contain well referenced bibliographies. It is written and edited by Native Americans. I found this book the best reasoned approach to a real problem facing all tribal hovers governments in the U.S. We must define who our members are and citizenship requirements of risk continued loss of membership and extinction of recognition with loss of sovereign recognition as indigenous nations.
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This was an excellent book on a topic that I had not thought about but which raises important questions about identity.  The book had selections from several writers who approached the subject matter from different perspectives.  The writing was good and the selections explored the topic sufficiently in depth.  This would be a good book for a multicultural writing course to prompt students to read, think and write about these topics.
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A wonderful read. I loved this book. I recommend this book on so many levels. The writings provides a Native American communal perspective, such as teachings shared by the writer's own tribal community, theory, criticism, plays, and history on the blood quantum.
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