We Talk, You Listen is strong, boldly unconventional medicine from Vine Deloria Jr. (1933–2005), one of the most important voices of twentieth-century Native American affairs. Here the witty and insightful Indian spokesman turns his penetrating vision toward the disintegrating core of American society.
Written at a time when the traditions of the formerly omnipotent Anglo-Saxon male were crumbling under the pressures of a changing world, Deloria’s book interprets racial conflict, inflation, the ecological crisis, and power groups as symptoms rather than causes of the American malaise: “The glittering generalities and mythologies of American society no longer satisfy the need and desire to belong,” a theory as applicable today as it was in 1970.
American Indian tribalism, according to Deloria, was positioned to act as America's salvation. Deloria proposes a uniquely Indian solution to the legacy of genocide, imperialism, capitalism, feudalism, and self-defeating liberalism: group identity and real community development, a kind of neo-tribalism. He also offers a fascinating cultural critique of the nascent “tribes” of the 1970s, indicting Chicanos, blacks, hippies, feminists, and others as misguided because they lacked comprehensive strategies and were led by stereotypes rather than an understanding of their uniqueness.