American Coloniesby Alan Taylor
Pub. Date: 11/12/2001
Publisher: Viking Adult
In American Colonies award-winning historian Alan Taylor challenges the traditional Anglocentric focus of colonial history by exploring the multitude of cultural influences out of which "America" ultimately emerged. From the Siberian migrations across the Bering Strait fifteen thousand years ago and the European expeditions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through the nineteenth-century exploration and occupation of the Hawaiian Islands, Taylor traces the complex ecological, ethnic, and economic history and colonization of the New World from coast to coast, from the Canadian north to the Pacific rim.
Examining the repeatedly overlooked influence of the continent's natives upon the colonists and the resulting mutual dependence of the two, Taylor presents a unique and revelatory view of colonial North America. European colonists, African slaves, and native peoples met one another and interacted at a pace and intensity unparalleled in global history. The effects of this staggering confluence of cultural, ecological, military, diplomatic, and economic interests are still being felt in America today. This fascinating and involving history of the origins of the United States will provoke and appeal to all readers of American history.
Series Editor: Eric Foner
Author Biography: Alan Taylor's books include William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for history and the Bancroft Prize in American History. He is a professor of history at the University of California at Davis.
Eric Foner, award-winning author of Reconstruction: America's UnfinishedRevolution, is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University.
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An outstanding chronological history of the setlement of our country. Absolutely jam packed with fresh facts and a new slant. Taylor wastes no words..this is a huge amount of information. It was the #1 history book I read in 2002(of about 50).Fantastic in scope..Taylor does a wonderful job of describing the problems and thought processes of the day...for just a couple of example nuggets:..I had no idea that early plantation labor in VA wasnt African until around 1700..for about 100 yr before that..it was English serfs who sold themselves into servitude as tradeoff for voyage fare. Did you know that SC was founded by a group of English colonists from Barbados who fled in part in fear of a slave uprising on the then British sugar colony? Did you know Acadia, then a 14th colony (now the Canadian maritime provinces) were invited into the revolution but decided against it? Given the French defeat..that decision is why Canada and US are not the same country today. Expect nuggets like this with American Colonies.
People interested in early American history, especially the cultural, political, economic and other forces driving and shaping the history, will appreciate Adam Taylor's highly readable, interesting, balanced, and lucid account of the founding of each colony and its nature. Major American events, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, cannot really be understood without an understanding of the nature of the first settlements; and Adam Taylor does a more balanced, articulate job of explaining this nature than anyone else I have read. I enjoyed every minute spent reading the 'American Colonies' and highly recommend it to others.