Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents / Edition 1

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Overview

A collection of primary sources documenting the early clash of cultures in the Americas, Encounters in the New World spans the years from Columbus's voyage in 1492 to the publication of the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, a former slave, in 1789. Emotional eyewitness accounts-memoirs, private correspondence-as well as formal documents, official reports, and journalistic reportage give body and texture to the historical events described. A special 16-page cartographic section, including maps from Europe and North America, is fascinating not only for the maps' telltale imperfections, but also because they convey information about how their creators saw themselves and the world around them. A Jesuit priest's chronicle of life among his Iroquois captors, Aztec records of forbidding omens, excerpts from Columbus's ship's log, John Smith's account of cannibalism among the British residents of Jamestown, slave auction advertisements, memoirs by several members of Cortes's expedition, the reminiscences of an escaped slave-these are just a few examples of the wealth of primary sources collected here.

Jill Lepore, winner of the distinguished Bancroft Prize for history in 1999, provides informed commentary linking the documents into a fascinating and seamless narrative.

A collection of documents illustrating encounters between Native American peoples and a variety of European newcomers from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Includes maps, journals, advertisements, and letters.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
To state the obvious, history is the study of people's past. One of the most effective ways to understand the events of the past is to study documents from the time period under review. The use of primary source information allows the student to have a firmer understanding of distant people, events, and mysteries. It is with that aim in mind that this particular study evolves. Through a presentation of writings and maps drawn from the era of exploration the author attempts to tell the story of European encounters with Native American and African populations. Selections include letters, diary entries, portions of period texts, maps, and illustrations from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Through these documents we come to see the sharply contrasting views held by the Europeans and the people whom they conquered and enslaved. To the Europeans, the Native American and African populations were endemically inferior. Native populations were viewed by Europeans as fodder for conversion, exploitation, or destruction. For Native American and African people the Europeans were viewed in contrasting ways. In some instances the bearded white men were welcomed as gods. In other cases they were feared as devils. Through the writings of that distant time period the reader is afforded a glimpse into an age where people thought and behaved in a manner far removed from our own perspectives. Unfortunately, the presentation of the raw material of history, without adequate introduction and guidance can be a somewhat confusing approach to the subject. While this book does present some wonderful snapshots of a turbulent time period, it lacks cohesion. The student is left to synthesize a large body of information without adequate annotation and introduction from the author. Additionally, this review edition included a significant publishing error as pages 33-64 are duplicated in separate parts of the book. All in all, this text is well intended but requires historical amplification and more careful editing to serve a viable purpose in schools.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Lepore provides a wealth of primary-source materials to describe the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. The result is an eye-opening look at the "discovery" of the New World. Chapters are grouped thematically, rather than chronologically. An introduction by the author sets the scene for each account, offering insight into the text that follows. The passages range from single paragraphs to a few pages in length. Sources are cited in an appendix. The letters, particularly those written by Native peoples, clearly show the contrast between European and Native American ideas and interpretation of events. A discussion of early religious conflicts includes an eloquent speech by the Iroquois leader Red Jacket, given in 1828. The account of a slave-ship captain who discusses his "cargo" of goods in a chillingly businesslike manner is another of the many powerful selections. The author is careful to point out that not all firsthand accounts are true, citing Christopher Columbus and Jacques Cartier as examples. Nearly every page features a black-and-white period reproduction, most with captions giving additional information. The chapter "Mapping the World" includes full-color reproductions of historical maps. In addition to offering valuable perspectives, this book will introduce readers to the challenges involved in understanding the past.-Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
From the Publisher

"Students of American history will find plenty to chew on in this meaty, heavily illustrated entry in the new Pages from History series....Beginning with a full-color section, the pictures are...heavy on maps that chart the world's expansion in the European consciousness and including often fanciful scenes that in many cases are all that is left of vanished Native American cultures.... [Lepore] draws from a host of hard-to-find sources, and creates a ghastly, compelling picture of one of human history's pivotal moments."--Kirkus Reviews

"A wealth of primary source materials...an eye-opening look at the 'discovery' of the New World....Nearly every page features a black-and-white period reproduction, most with captions giving additional information...full-color reproductions of historical maps. In addition to offering valuable perspectives, this book will introduce readers to the challenges involved in understanding the past."--School Library Journal

"Presents primary source material--diaries, letters, maps, illustrations--and combines it with solid, in-depth examinations. Lepore provides essential background information and helps readers understand the context surrounding each document."--Horn Book

"The author does an excellent job of introducing these documents, filling in their historical context, and pointing out their salient features....This volume provides a balance to traditional texts by presenting the voices of people not often heard, who suffered from European colonization of the new world. Classroom discussions and individual reports will be enriched....Recommended."--Book Report

"Promises to be both useful and capable of holding student interest....Contains many clear, large, and easy-to-use charts, diagrams, and pictures. The sixteen-page map section is a delight that students will find fascinating....Well-edited and beautifully illustrated."--OAH Magazine of History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195154917
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/4/2002
  • Series: Pages from History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore is an Associate Professor of History at Boston University, where she also serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies for American and New England Studies. Her previous works include A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States (Knopf, 2002) and The Name of War: King Philip's War and American Identity (Knopf, 1998), Winner of the Bancroft Prize, Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, Berkshire Prize, and the New England Historical Association Prize, and a selection of the History Book Club.

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Table of Contents

What is a Document? 6
How to Read a Document 8
Introduction 11
On the Turtle's Back 12
Why Europe? 14
Dealing with the Documents 15
Chapter 1 Mapping the World 17
Ptolemy's Revolution 18
The Christian World 21
An Expanding World 22
America Emerges 24
Vanishing Maps 29
Lines and Circles 30
Chapter 2 First Encounters 33
Prophecies, Plans, and Fantasies 34
First Impressions 39
Gods? Savages? 44
Dividing the Sexes 49
A Catalog of Nature 53
Indians Abroad 55
Chapter 3 Conquest and Resistance 59
Montezuma, Quetzalcoatl, and Cortes 61
An Eight-Year Journey 68
Invading the Interior 70
The Great Debate 75
Missions and Presidios 78
Chapter 4 Furs, Rivers, and Black Robes 87
The Peoples of the Longhouse 88
A New France 91
The Society of Jesus 96
New Worlds, New Women 100
Covenants of War and Peace 103
Chapter 5 The English Arrive 107
Go West 108
Roanoke, the Lost Colony 112
Powhatan and His People 115
Founding Jamestown 116
Pocahontas and Her Legacy 121
Chapter 6 Africans in America 125
Kidnapped 130
Tips for Slave Traders 132
Ships of Death 135
For Sale 137
Africans' New Worlds 138
Two Views 142
Runaways and Rebels 144
Chapter 7 Planting New England 147
Metacom's Rebellion 149
Manitou and the City on a Hill 155
Marking the Landscape 158
Praying Indians 160
Timeline 164
Further Reading 167
Text Credits 169
Picture Credits 171
Index 173
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