America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus by Alvin M. Josephy, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus

America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus

by Alvin M. Josephy
     
 

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When Columbus landed in 1492, the New World was far from being a vast expanse of empty wilderness: it was home to some seventy-five million people. They ranged from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, spoke as many as two thousand different languages, and lived in groups that varied from small bands of hunter-gatherers to the sophisticated and dazzling empires of

Overview

When Columbus landed in 1492, the New World was far from being a vast expanse of empty wilderness: it was home to some seventy-five million people. They ranged from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, spoke as many as two thousand different languages, and lived in groups that varied from small bands of hunter-gatherers to the sophisticated and dazzling empires of the Incas and Aztecs. This brilliantly detailed and documented volume brings together essays by fifteen leading scholars field to present a comprehensive and richly evocative portrait of Native American life on the eve of Columbus's first landfall.

Developed at the D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian and edited by award-winning author Alvin M. Josehpy, Jr., America in 1492 is an invaluable work that combines the insights of historians, anthropologists, and students of art, religion, and folklore. Its dozens of illustrations, drawn from largely from the rare books and manuscripts housed at the Newberry Library, open a window on worlds flourished in the Americas five hundred years ago.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A teeming panorama of North and South American life from prehistoric times through the 15th century .... A book like [this]needs no recommendation beyond its accuracy, comprehensiveness, and serious of purpose." — Cleveland Plain Dealer

"America in 1492 totally shatters the pious fiction that there was no civilization here before the arrival of Columbus." — Dee Brown

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a concerted effort to quash myths and stereotypes, Josephy assembles essays by noted writers and scholars that depict Native American culture at the time of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. Photos. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The 14 contributors to this heavily illustrated edited collection have made a valiant attempt to describe what the societies of the Americas might have been like 500 years ago, but the product is much more than a snapshot of a single time. The historians, anthropologists, linguists, humanists, novelists, curators, and others involved in this project have produced crisp, fact-filled chapters that reflect an integration of current archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research. In a multiauthored work of this length, some contradiction and errors are natural, but such are rare. The book is geared to the general reader, and aside from an obvious ``politically correct'' bias, it constitutes an up-to-date introduction to the indigenous populations of North, Central, and South America. For other books on 1492, see ``Rediscovering Columbus,'' LJ 8/91, p. 120-22.--Ed.-- William S. Dancey, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
School Library Journal
YA-- The perspective presented in Josephy's introduction sets the tone for this collection of articles by well-known scholars. While he notes the costs of arrogant European ethnocentrism to Native Americans, he establishes a balanced view that rejects both ``noble savage'' and ``debased human'' stereotypes. His bias is evident, however, in his use of ``holocaust'' to refer to the destruction of Indian culture as well as in his labeling of the first section, ``We the People, 1492.'' The selection of articles and the book's organization make it useful to students given specialized assignments as well as to those who wish in-depth knowledge of the pre-Columbian world. The book is well indexed and contains an annotated, chapter referenced bibliography. Chapters include information on pre-Columbian life, including aspects of social structure, customs, and achievements. Frequent reference is made to the fact that much of what we know is but the remnants of what occurred, recorded at a later period and altered by time and encounter. While the various articles indentify commonalities among native cultures, they dispel the view of all native traditions as one.-- Carol Wansong, Lee High School, Fairfax County, VA
Booknews
Reprint of the book originally published in 1992 by Knopf. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679743378
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1993
Edition description:
1st Vintage Books ed
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
5.71(w) x 7.93(h) x 1.33(d)

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