What does it mean to be a ""mixed-blood,"" and how has our understanding of this term changed over the last two centuries? What processes have shaped American thinking on racial blending? Why has the figure of the mixed-blood, thought too offensive for polite conversation in the nineteenth century, become a major representative of twentieth-century native consciousness? In Injun Joe's Ghost, Harry J. Brown addresses these questions within the interrelated contexts of anthropology, U.S. Indian policy, and popular fiction by white and mixed-blood writers, mapping the evolution of ""hybridity"" from a biological to a cultural category. Brown traces the processes that once mandated the mixed-blood's exile as a grotesque or criminal outcast and that have recently brought about his ascendance as a cultural hero in contemporary Native American writing. Because the myth of the demise of the Indian and the ascendance of the Anglo-Saxon is traditionally tied to America's national idea, nationalist literature depicts Indian-white hybrids in images of degeneracy, atavism, madness, even criminality.