A multicultural, multinational history of colonial America from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Internal Enemy and American Revolutions
In the first volume in the Penguin History of the United States, edited by Eric Foner, Alan Taylor challenges the traditional story of colonial history by examining the many cultures that helped make America, from the native inhabitants from milennia past, through the decades of Western colonization and conquest, and across the entire continent, all the way to the Pacific coast.
Transcending the usual Anglocentric version of our colonial past, he recovers the importance of Native American tribes, African slaves, and the rival empires of France, Spain, the Netherlands, and even Russia in the colonization of North America. Moving beyond the Atlantic seaboard to examine the entire continent, American Colonies reveals a pivotal period in the global interaction of peoples, cultures, plants, animals, and microbes. In a vivid narrative, Taylor draws upon cutting-edge scholarship to create a timely picture of the colonial world characterized by an interplay of freedom and slavery, opportunity and loss.
"Formidable . . . provokes us to contemplate the ways in which residents of North America have dealt with diversity." -The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
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; The Internal Enemy, also awarded the Pultizer Prize; The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution. Taylor holds the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia.
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Copyright © 2002 Alan Taylor.
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Table of Contents
Part I. Encounters
1. Natives, 13,000 B.C.-A.D. 1492
2. Colonizers, 1400-1800
3. New Spain, 1500-1600
4. The Spanish Frontier, 1530-1700
5. Canada and Iroquoia, 1500-1660
Part II. Encounters
6. Virginia, 1570-1650
7. Chesapeake Colonies, 1650-1750
8. New England, 1600-1700
9. Puritans and Indians, 1600-1700
10. The West Indies, 1600-1700
11. Carolina, 1670-1760
12. Middle Colonies, 1600-1700
Part III. Empires
13. Revolutions, 1685-1730
14. The Atlantic, 1700-80
15. Awakenings, 1700-75
16. French America, 1650-1750
17. The Great Plains, 1680-1800
18. Imperial Wars and Crisis, 1739-75
19. The Pacific, 1760-1820
What People are Saying About This
"Compelling, readable, and fresh, American Colonies is perhaps the most brilliant piece of synthesis in recent American historical writing." —Phillip J. Deloria, associate professor of history and American culture, University of Michigan
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you love history and your politics lean left, you'll love this book. If you love history and your politics lean right, you'll like the book but cringe at times....not because you're learning something new and different, but because the author paints the pilgrims as bad people, and the Indians are saints.
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.