Markku Henrikssons book is one of the very first full length studies of the US Congresss Indian policy. From 1862 to 1907 Congress passed hunreds of laws regulating, organizing, and arranging Indian trade, land and fate. While passing these laws, senators and representatives believed in the universality of cultural development. Their belief was supported by the science of that time and by their bearing witness to the rapid advance of industry and technology in white America. Such information as they received concerning Indian societies, on the other hand, did not support their belief in the universality of cultural development. Because this belief did not match with Indian reality, even the legislation which was to help Native Americans was doomed to fail.