Native Americans: An Illustrated Historyby Alvin M. Josephy
The first Americans have long been cloaked in a veil of myth and legend that hides the richness and diversity of Indian civilizations and cultures. The archaeological history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas goes back more than 30,000 years. By the time Columbus landed in the so-called New World, it was a very old world that had seen entire civilizations rise and fall through the centuries. In truth, in 1492, two totally different complex societies collideda European invasion that devastated the Indians and resulted in a collapse of their world. It is estimated that by the 17th century, more than 50 million natives of North and South America had perished as a result of war, disease, enslavement, and the careless or deliberate brutality of Europeanshistory's greatest holocaust by far. Faced with repeated attempts to enforce conformity, Indians today respond with a kind of "shapeshifting" that blurs cultural boundaries. But as the 20th century draws to a close, what it means to be Choctaw, Inuit, Cherokee, or Mohawk is not nearly as difficult a question to answer as what it means to be an American.
Here is the astonishing reality of Indian history, presented for the first time from the perspective of native Americans. Spanning a thousand generations from the time Ice Age man first set foot on this continent to the present, and beautifully written by five authorities on Indian history and culture, this volume is lavishly illustrated with over 440 photos, maps, and the work of historic and contemporary artists.
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