In the second half of the 19th century, the white, middle-class concept of home was assumed to be a perfect model for civilization in the American West.
Indians were considered primitive and chaotic, largely because their domestic arrangements didn’t conform to this ideal. Much effort was spent trying to “square” their circular notions of family and home. Utilizing rare voices, such as those of novelist Caroline Soule, photographer E. Jane Gay and Arikara native Anna Dawson Wilde, the author effectively links the struggles of white and native women who remedy their inequalities in the image of perfect domesticity. —Cynthia Green