On Thursday night we watched a “rough cut” version of a documentary chronicling Alvin Josephy’s career as a historian of and advocate for Indians. Sean Cassidy, retired from Lewis-Clark State College, introduced the film, which he and fellow LC professor Patricia Keith put together in the early 2000s.
The late Robert Utley, a historian who had his disagreements with Alvin, is one of the featured interviews. Utley grudgingly acknowledges Josephy’s contributions to the field of Indian History in America—in Utley’s eyes, Josephy gradually moves from being a journalist to a real historian—and says that Alvin’s 1971 piece on Custer in Life Magazine was more political than historical.
And it was—political and historical. It was political in the best sense of that word. First, it appeared in Life Magazine, founded, along with Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, by Henry Luce. Luce had been Alvin’s boss at Time for a decade, and the editor of this 1971 edition of Life Read The Article