The Ecological Indian: Myth and History

The Ecological Indian: Myth and History

by Shepard Krech, S. Krech


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"A good story and first-rate social science."—New York Times Book Review

The idea of the Native American living in perfect harmony with nature is one of the most cherished contemporary myths. But how truthful is this larger-than-life image? According to anthropologist Shepard Krech, the first humans in North America demonstrated all of the intelligence, self-interest, flexibility, and ability to make mistakes of human beings anywhere. As Nicholas Lemann put it in The New Yorker, "Krech is more than just a conventional-wisdom overturner; he has a serious larger point to make. . . . Concepts like ecology, waste, preservation, and even the natural (as distinct from human) world are entirely anachronistic when applied to Indians in the days before the European settlement of North America." "Offers a more complex portrait of Native American peoples, one that rejects mythologies, even those that both European and Native Americans might wish to embrace."—Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393321005
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Pages: 318
Sales rank: 590,782
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Shepard Krech III is a professor of anthropology at Brown University. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and in Maine.

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The Ecological Indian: Myth and History 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Were the American Indians always environmentalists, ecologists, conservations or preservationists, as they are almost invariably presented today? Or is this a modern construct with huge cultural, political and social results? Krech argues that the NA's were not the gentle walkers of the earth as they are presented today (in print, TV & political ads) but that the Indian waste was exacerbated by European desires for trade goods--furs, etc. Even if you do not totally agree with the book's thesis, its a great place to start.....