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The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History

af Ned Blackhawk

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296788,626 (3.83)10
The most enduring feature of U.S. history is the presence of Native Americans, yet most histories focus on Europeans and their descendants. This long practice of ignoring Indigenous history is changing, however, with a new generation of scholars insists that any full American history address the struggle, survival, and resurgence of American Indian nations. Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. Ned Blackhawk interweaves five centuries of Native and non-Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century. In this transformative synthesis he shows that: European colonization in the 1600s was never a predetermined success; Native nations helped shape England's crisis of empire; the first shots of the American Revolution were prompted by Indian affairs in the interior; California Indians targeted by federally funded militias were among the first casualties of the Civil War; the Union victory forever recalibrated Native communities across the West; twentieth-century reservation activists refashioned American law and policy. Blackhawk's retelling of U.S. history acknowledges the enduring power, agency, and survival of Indigenous peoples, yielding a truer account of the United States and revealing anew the varied meanings of America.… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afJoeB1934, psabinin, salarid, JFBCore, karenwstarr, lafstaff, privat bibliotek, IntrovertedFaerie13, wnstn, JFB87
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Viser 5 af 5
What. A. Slog. Five months and 618 pages. (And that does not count all the back notes. Page 618 is just 62% of the book. Needless to say, I did not read the notes.) Blackhawk's premise that Native Americans have, in fact, been at the pivot points of American history is well defended up until about the 1800s. After that, it breaks down. And throughout the book there are times where there is an overabundance of detail relative to the importance of the point; while at other times Blackhawk skims over points that seem quite important, especially in the 20th century. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Apr 5, 2024 |
Too often in the past, Indigenous people were relegated to the margins of US history, In The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History, Indigenous author and professor Ned Blackhawk sets out to rectify this by showing that, from the beginning of American history, starting from the Spanish colonialism to the end of the 20th century, Indigenous peoples played an essential role in the success of the US although rarely to their benefit. He outlines how the violence, the diseases, the enslavement, and the dispossession of Native Americans across five centuries shaped America, how the success of British colonization and European settlement depended on the dispossession of the Native Americans, their role in the American Revolution and the Civil War as well as in the shaping of US laws, how much of American history was predicated on attempted destruction of their way of life, their culture, and, even their very existence, and how, despite every effort to erase them, they survived and continued to influence American history.

I cannot say this was an easy read albeit a very interesting read. Despite Blackhawk’s straightforward even, at times, dry writing style, it is hard not to be made, at the very least, uncomfortable by the cruelties and injustices inflicted on Indigenous peoples throughout the five centuries of American (and Canadian) colonialism right to the end of the 20th century. But it is an important one giving a different side of history that few of us learned in school but one we should have learned. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Jason Grasl who does an excellent job.

I received an audio version of this book from Netgalley and Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | Feb 25, 2024 |
Blackhawk fills in the often gaping holes in America's history where the influence of native peoples on this country has been sidelined at best and forgotten or disregarded at worst. This is a sweeping history beginning with the Spanish explorers. The eagle flies with wounded wing throughout these pages, enduring its pained flight not for noble cause but for its unrestrained quest for domination and racial arrogance. ( )
  ben_r47 | Feb 22, 2024 |
The author is Native American and a professor of history at Yale. He has written essentially a history of the United States from the Native American point of view. Many interesting relationships that are not mentioned or ignored in typical histories are discussed e.g., the importance of western expansion and the dispossession of the Indians to the American colonists as it affected their attitude towards the British. I also was interested in the changes over time in how the government and the American people viewed Native Americans and how this was reflected in Supreme Court rulings and acts of Congress. So, federal treaties (often promising security for various tribes in pieces of land that settlers didn’t want yet), then legislation (often enacted to specifically countermand previous treaties for the benefit of constituents and lobbyists), the independent acts of state governors (sometimes specifically directing acts of genocide), and later the linking of FDR era acts that gave Indians more autonomy with communism during the 1950s.
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The history is drier than some and it is not anecdote rich. Also, the history of the United States being a very large topic, the author’s choices for topics of discussion sometimes seemed like a collection of essays. ( )
  markm2315 | Aug 4, 2023 |
nonfiction/history - unable to finish in a timely manner so returning to library so it can be read by the next person on the waitlist
  reader1009 | Jun 13, 2023 |
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How can a nation founded on the homelands of dispossessed Indigenous peoples be the world's most exemplary democracy? This question haunts America, as it does other settler nations. -Introduction, Toward a New American History
Over two months had passed since the twelve horsemen left the colony. -Chapter 1: American Genesis, Indians and the Spanish Borderlands
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The most enduring feature of U.S. history is the presence of Native Americans, yet most histories focus on Europeans and their descendants. This long practice of ignoring Indigenous history is changing, however, with a new generation of scholars insists that any full American history address the struggle, survival, and resurgence of American Indian nations. Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America. Ned Blackhawk interweaves five centuries of Native and non-Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century. In this transformative synthesis he shows that: European colonization in the 1600s was never a predetermined success; Native nations helped shape England's crisis of empire; the first shots of the American Revolution were prompted by Indian affairs in the interior; California Indians targeted by federally funded militias were among the first casualties of the Civil War; the Union victory forever recalibrated Native communities across the West; twentieth-century reservation activists refashioned American law and policy. Blackhawk's retelling of U.S. history acknowledges the enduring power, agency, and survival of Indigenous peoples, yielding a truer account of the United States and revealing anew the varied meanings of America.

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