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"Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small Native American Tribe Created the Worlds Most Profitable Casino"
de Kim Isaac Eisler
Kim Isaac Eisler begins Revenge of the Pequots with a fascinating anecdote: a 1994 phone call between President Clinton and Skip Hayward, the chief of Connecticut's Pequot tribe. Here was the most powerful man in the country thanking Hayward for political campaign contributions totaling half a million dollars--a dramatic reversal from the standard story of American Indians begging the federal government for financial assistance. Eisler calls the incredible Pequot story "one of the greatest about-faces in American history, [how] this obscure Indian tribe, which in 1994 had been federally recognized for only ten years and numbered fewer than 200 people, had nothing if not plenty of cash."
They were (and are) the richest tribe in the United States, and they've done it all on gambling proceeds. The Foxwoods High Stakes Bingo and Casino complex, located in southeastern Connecticut, is "one of the most successful cash-producing enterprises in the world," says Eisler, and a destination for some 25,000 gamblers every day. The entrepreneurial Hayward is at the center of the book's plot, along with a talented lawyer named Tom Tureen, as they carefully go about winning federal recognition for the Pequots and then building Foxwoods. All of this was extremely controversial, with questions about the legitimacy of the Pequots' claims and the probity of their business. (Eisler is considerably more sympathetic to their story than another book on the same subject, Jeff Benedict's Without Reservation.)

The remote descendants of the Pequots had exacted from the system more than a small dose of revenge. They had turned a government, which for four centuries had committed brutal acts of oppression and termination, into knots. Using the same legal processes that had been used against American Indians for so long, they had trumped the ruling class and implausibly become the wealthiest Indian tribe in the history of North America.... Skeptics could and would argue endlessly about whether the new Pequots were or were not authentic Indians, although no one had questioned their right to declare themselves Pequots when they were poor.
Eisler is a veteran of magazine feature writing, and he describes this rags-to-riches accomplishment in great detail, all of it engrossing. --John J. Miller (

Editeur : University of Nebraska Press
Date de parution : mars 2002

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