America's history and heritage can be traced almost as far back as the earliest civilizations in Asia and Africa. This latest contribution to local American history, written by the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, is a fascinating anthropological and archaeological romp through the United States. In 19 essays on major geographical regions and prominent individuals, the unique development and blending of European and Native American heritage is explored through the diverse ethnic, religious, ethical, and cultural roots, many of which are still evident today. Contrary to popular belief, slavery existed in the 1500s, cotton made its debut in the Southwest 1000 years earlier than in the East, and early migratory patterns went from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean long before Europeans arrived in Jamestown. There were mound-builders, cliff-dwellers, pyramids, and much more prior to Columbus and 1492. This is excellent material, but perhaps too scholarly for general readers. Recommended for larger collections.-- Ann E. Cohen, Rochester P.L., N.Y.