American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492

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University of Oklahoma Press, 1987 - Social Science - 292 pages
2 Reviews

This demographic overview of North American Indian history describes in detail the holocaust that, even today, white Americans tend to dismiss as an unfortunate concomitant of Manifest Destiny. They wish to forget that, as Euro-Americans invaded North America and prospered in the "New World," the numbers of native peoples declined sharply; entire tribes, often in the space of a few years, were "wiped from the face of the earth."

 

The fires of the holocaust that consumed American Indians blazed in the fevers of newly encountered diseases, the flash of settlers’ and soldiers’ guns, the ravages of "firewater," and the scorched-earth policies of the white invaders. Russell Thornton describes how the holocaust had as its causes disease, warfare and genocide, removal and relocation, and destruction of aboriginal ways of life.

 

Until recently most scholars seemed reluctant to speculate about North American Indian populations in 1492. In this book Thornton discusses in detail how many Indians there were, where they had come from, and how modern scholarship in many disciplines may enable us to make more accurate estimates of aboriginal populations.

  

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American Indian holocaust and survival: a population history since 1492

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Just how many Indians were living in the Americas in 1492 is a hotly debated issue. In this well-organized presentation, Thornton systematically compares the various approaches scholars have taken ... Read full review

Review: American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (The Civilization of the American Indian Series, #186)

User Review  - Steven Salaita - Goodreads

A good book by a skilled demographer and scholar. More data have been produced by other scholars since the book was published, most of it bearing out Thorton's claims. Read full review

Contents

Arrivals in the Western Hemisphere
3
American Indian Population in 1492
15
1492 to 18901900
42
1500 to 1800
60
1800 to 1900
91
The Great Ghost Dances
134
1900 to Today
159
Population Recovery and the Definition and Enumeration
186
Urbanization of American Indians
225
The Native American Population History of Alaska
241
References
247
Index
283
Copyright

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About the author (1987)

Russell Thornton is Professor of Sociology in the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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