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Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2006

    Taylor borders on the borderlands

    Alan Taylor is not as successful with his latest product. The book is unorganized at points while brilliant at others. The borderlands framework, while insightful, looses its conceptual power throughout several points in the book. The book, moreover, turns into a series of vignettes rather than a running connected, narrative. A fan of Taylor's previous works, and an Iroquoianist, I was dissapointed with this work. In fact, he misquotes one of the most important works in Seneca history. Anthony F.C. Wallace's 'Death and Rebirth of the Seneca,' is often cited as Destruction and Rebirth. While this might seem minor, it reflects a larger problem with the work. Here, as in other places, Taylor reveals that he has not immersed himself enough in the world of the Iroquois. Ethnohistorical methods are needed, and Taylor's approach does not give the Iroquois, particularly the Seneca, the depth of new discovery that the borderlands framework could have potentially inspired. I will provide one example: was the prophet Handsome Lake responding to shifting borders and the effects of such change on Seneca life? Not in Taylor's analysis. Taylor does not cast any new light on this prophet, nor does he cast new light on a host of other important Seneca leaders (except Red Jacket), men who treated and traded as an important power on a post-Revolutionary borderlands, men who were on a new cutting-edge style of leadership as Confederacy power diminished. This was a hurried attempt to hit the market, especially in a politically-charged environment concerned with borders and border-protection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

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