Warriors Without War takes readers beneath the placid waters of the Seminole’s public image and into the fascinating depths of Seminole society and politics.
For the entire last quarter of the twentieth century, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a federally recognized American Indian Tribe, struggled as it transitioned from a tiny group of warriors into one of the best-known tribes on the world’s economic stage through their gaming enterprises.
Caught between a desperate desire for continued cultural survival and the mounting pressures of the non-Indian world—especially, the increasing requirements of the United States government— the Seminoles took a warriorlike approach to financial risk management. Their leader was the sometimes charming, sometimes crass and explosive, always warriorlike James Billie, who twice led the tribe in fights with the State of Florida that led all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Patricia Riles Wickman, who lived and worked for fifteen years with the Seminole people, chronicles the near-meteoric rise of the tribe and its leader to the pinnacle of international fame, and Billie’s ultimate fall after twenty-four years in power. Based partly on her own personal experiences working with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Wickman has produced an in-depth study of the rise of one of the largest Indian gaming operations in the United States that reads almost like a Capote nonfiction novel.