Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America

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Harvard University Press, Jun 1, 2009 - History - 336 pages
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In the beginning, North America was Indian country. But only in the beginning. After the opening act of the great national drama, Native Americans yielded to the westward rush of European settlers.

Or so the story usually goes. Yet, for three centuries after Columbus, Native people controlled most of eastern North America and profoundly shaped its destiny. In "Facing East from Indian Country," Daniel K. Richter keeps Native people center-stage throughout the story of the origins of the United States.

Viewed from Indian country, the sixteenth century was an era in which Native people discovered Europeans and struggled to make sense of a new world. Well into the seventeenth century, the most profound challenges to Indian life came less from the arrival of a relative handful of European colonists than from the biological, economic, and environmental forces the newcomers unleashed. Drawing upon their own traditions, Indian communities reinvented themselves and carved out a place in a world dominated by transatlantic European empires. In 1776, however, when some of Britain's colonists rebelled against that imperial world, they overturned the system that had made Euro-American and Native coexistence possible. Eastern North America only ceased to be an Indian country because the revolutionaries denied the continent's first peoples a place in the nation they were creating.

In rediscovering early America as Indian country, Richter employs the historian's craft to challenge cherished assumptions about times and places we thought we knew well, revealing Native American experiences at the core of the nation's birth and identity.


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User Review  - marinty - LibraryThing

This book opens the mind to the ways of Native Americans from their own point of view. In an attempt to obliterate ego-centric European thinking, Richter writes surprising, and encouraging words about ... Read full review

Facing east from Indian country: a Native history of early America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the acclaimed The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of ... Read full review


Early America as Indian Country
1 Imagining a Distant New World
2 Confronting a Material New World
3 Living with Europeans
4 Native Voices in a Colonial World
5 Native Peoples in an Imperial World
6 Separate Creations
Eulogy from Indian Country
A Technical Note

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About the author (2009)

Daniel K. Richter is Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History and the Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of the award-winning Facing East from Indian Country (Harvard).

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