Prophetic Worlds

Christopher L. Miller
Foreword by Chris Friday

  • $25.00s paperback (9780295983028) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2003
  • Subject Listing: History / Western History; Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 192 pp., 5.5 x 8.5 in.
  • Series: Columbia Northwest Classics
  • Contents

In his provocative ethnohistory, Christopher Miller offers an innovative reinterpretation of relations between Native Americans and Christian settlers on the Columbia Plateau. Miller draws on a wealth of ethnographic resources to show how culturally-derived perceptions and systems of rationality played more of a determining role in the interactions between these two groups than did material forces. Initially, Plateau Indians and the American missionaries who came to convert them perceived each other as crucial to the fulfillment of their own millennial destiny. When these views were contravened, relations quickly and fatally soured. In explaining this devolution, Prophetic Worlds provides a novel and insightful rendering of the cultural understandings that underwrote the mid-nineteenth-century transformation of life on the Plateau.
Christopher L. Miller is associate professor of history and philosophy at the University of Texas-Pan American. His recent work includes Making America: A History of the United States.
Foreword to the 2003 Edition, by Chris Friday
Preface to the 2003 Edition
Chapter 1. The Plateau World
Chapter 2. The Eighteenth-Century Crisis
Chapter 3. The Plateau Prophecy
Chapter 4. The Prophecy Unfolds
Chapter 5. The White Prophecy
Chapter 6. The Prophets Meet
Chapter 7. The Converging Millennia
Chapter 8. The World Will Fall to Pieces

"The author deftly weaves materials drawn from a wide variety of disciplines to create a tapestry of tragic events born of millenarian visions. The writing is cogent, clear, and graceful."
-Journal of American History

"[Miller] has produced a work that is a provocative revisionist assessment of the remarkably parallel worlds of Indians and whites on the Columbia Plateau. . . . Miller's work is tightly crafted and a source of inspiration for readers seeking explanation rather than just description of past events."
-Oregon Historical Quarterly

"Miller's revisionist proposal deserves attention for its erudition and ingenuity . . . and as a challenge to reassess one's own reading of this complex juncture of historical and anthropological evidence."
-Western Historical Quarterly