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How much contact did Native Americans have with Europe in both the pre-Columbian and immediate post-contact time periods? Forbes (Native American studies & anthropology, emeritus, Univ. of California, Davis; Africans and Native Americans) attempts to make the case that a great deal of interaction occurred. He describes both supposed planned voyages and accidental trips (canoes being blown east by storms) by Native Americans to Europe during the centuries before Columbus's voyage in 1492. While Forbes thoroughly documents his sources, he makes frequent wide-ranging assumptions related to pre-Columbian Native American voyages based upon small bits of possible evidence. Post-contact reports of the kidnapping, enslavement, and shipment of significant numbers of indigenous American people to Europe by the Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Dutch in the 16th and 17th centuries are generally better documented and more widely accepted by anthropologists and historians. The depth of research throughout is clear, but the narrative is somewhat repetitive. Although most of Forbes's conclusions are highly speculative, this work can provide fascinating reading for those interested in controversial and alternative anthropological theories. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.
—Elizabeth Salt Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information