The Scalping of the Great Sioux Nation recalls Davis' early upbringing and education on two Indian reservations. Davis also assesses the policies of the United States government regarding the status of Indians in society. Scalping is not too strong a term to describe the multiple injustices which the Sioux tribes of South Dakota and elsewhere have suffered. The general hate and bigotry which Custer often displayed toward Indians (and blacks) only reflected a similar feeling among many white settlers, presidents, and congressmen. The Indian struggle for survival, self-governance, and sovereignty has met with limited success since the days of the white and Indian massacres. Federal Indian law has changed slightly to accommodate those desires. Casino gaming has added another dimension to the struggle for decent living conditions, but with dubious consequences for the average Indian.
Philip E. Davis is emeritus professor of philosophy at San Jose State University. He received his Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Yale, and his AB degree from Harvard, and has published books and articles on moral, legal, and modern philosophy. Current interests, besides the plight of the American Indian, include the pragmatic thought of William James, O.W. Holmes, Jr., Mark Twain, and Thomas Jefferson.