One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark

Overview

One Vast Winter Count offers a new look at the early history of the region - a blending of ethnohistory, colonial history, and frontier history. It features Native voices and perspectives; a masterful, fluid integration of a wide range of oral and archival sources from across the West; a dynamic reconstruction of cultural histories; and balanced consideration of controversial subjects and issues. Calloway offers an unparalleled glimpse at the lives of generations of Native peoples in a western land soon to be ...
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One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark

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Overview

One Vast Winter Count offers a new look at the early history of the region - a blending of ethnohistory, colonial history, and frontier history. It features Native voices and perspectives; a masterful, fluid integration of a wide range of oral and archival sources from across the West; a dynamic reconstruction of cultural histories; and balanced consideration of controversial subjects and issues. Calloway offers an unparalleled glimpse at the lives of generations of Native peoples in a western land soon to be overrun.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Author of First Peoples and a distinguished Dartmouth historian, Calloway concentrates on the Indian experience from the Appalachians to the Pacific, in a time frame from prehistory to the 18th century. The scope is staggering, but Calloway masters it, demonstrating a remarkable command of a broad spectrum of historical, ethnographic and archeological sources including printed material and oral traditions. Conventional American history moves from east to west. Calloway's narrative tends instead to follow a south-north pattern, with cultural innovations like corn and horses diffusing from Mesoamerica along the river-centered trade routes. Conventional histories of Indian-European relations place them at the center of the Native American experience in what became the United States. Calloway demonstrates that until the mid-18th century, the European impact was secondary and indirect on most of the cultures involved. Conventional myths assert the relative peacefulness of Native American interaction. Calloway shows that conflict was also a norm. Conventional wisdom presents Indian cultures as static, living in a timeless harmony with their environment. Calloway establishes that they were in fact constantly changing, adapting to climatic changes, animal migrations, ecological and technological innovations and, not least, the movements, peaceful and hostile, of other cultures. Indian response to European penetration was correspondingly flexible, ranging from partial accommodation to resistance, then rebellion, as European governments sought to move from asserting influence to exercising control. And Native Americans sustained that agency until the "Killing Years," the period from 1770 to the century's turn, when the impact of the American Revolution extended from the Appalachian Mountains to the Pacific Coast, and a smallpox pandemic unpredictably turned the Native American West into a graveyard. It was that last episode, mocking theories of historical determinism, that set the stage for the Lewis and Clark expedition to encounter shocked survivors and suddenly empty lands that seemed to invite European occupation. One Vast Winter Count is both a major work in its own right and a magnificent first volume in Nebraska's new History of the American West series. History Book Club, Military Book Club and Reader's Subscription Book Club selections. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Calloway (history, Dartmouth) draws on tribal histories, anthropology, and archaeology, as well as traditional historical sources, to present this useful and insightful overview of vibrant nations actively charting their futures in the time of great change and tremendous challenge before Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery set forth in 1803. In addition to corn agriculture and its impact upon prehistoric populations, the author discusses the later historic shift from bow and arrow to firearms, the incorporation of horses into Plains Indian life, and the increased acquisition of European trade goods and culture. Colonial European powers and their interaction with Native populations, including the Spanish colonies in the Pueblos and California and the French and British rivalry, are explored in depth, though throughout the Native nations remain the primary focus. Calloway's balanced treatment of a topic so easily given to polemics is welcome indeed. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.-Nathan E. Bender, Buffalo Bill Historical Ctr., Cody, WY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
New York Review of Books

"A splendid overview of the Native American West to the end of the eighteenth century."—Larry McMurtry, New York Review of Books

— Larry McMurtry

New York Review of Books - Larry McMurtry
"A splendid overview of the Native American West to the end of the eighteenth century."—Larry McMurtry, New York Review of Books
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803264656
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: History of the American West
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 631
  • Sales rank: 233,674
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Colin G. Calloway is the Samson Occom Professor of Native American Studies, professor of history, and chair of the Native American studies program at Dartmouth College. He is the coeditor of Germans and Indians: Fantasies, Projections, Encounters (Nebraska 2002) and the author of many works, including New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Series Editor's Preface
Acknowledgments
A Note on Terminology
Prologue: Land and History in the American West 1
Pt. 1 The West before 1500
Ch. 1 Pioneers 25
Ch. 2 Singing Up a New World 67
Pt. 2 Invaders South and North, 1500-1730
Ch. 3 Sons of the Sun and People of the Earth 119
Ch. 4 Rebellions and Reconquests 165
Ch. 5 Calumet and Fleur-de-lys 213
Pt. 3 Winning and Losing in the West, 1700-1800
Ch. 6 The Coming of the Centaurs 267
Ch. 7 People in Between and People on the Edge 313
Ch. 8 The Killing Years 367
Epilogue: The Slave in the Chariot 427
Notes 435
Selected Bibliography 569
Index 597
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