Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sep 7, 2005 - History - 240 pages

Camilla Townsend's stunning new book, Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma, differs from all previous biographies of Pocahontas in capturing how similar seventeenth century Native Americans were--in the way they saw, understood, and struggled to control their world---not only to the invading British but to ourselves.

Neither na´ve nor innocent, Indians like Pocahontas and her father, the powerful king Powhatan, confronted the vast might of the English with sophistication, diplomacy, and violence. Indeed, Pocahontas's life is a testament to the subtle intelligence that Native Americans, always aware of their material disadvantages, brought against the military power of the colonizing English. Resistance, espionage, collaboration, deception: Pocahontas's life is here shown as a road map to Native American strategies of defiance exercised in the face of overwhelming odds and in the hope for a semblance of independence worth the name.

Townsend's Pocahontas emerges--as a young child on the banks of the Chesapeake, an influential noblewoman visiting a struggling Jamestown, an English gentlewoman in London--for the first time in three-dimensions; allowing us to see and sympathize with her people as never before.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This is an interesting factual look at a story many of us has come to know through fictional accounts. Pocahontas did marry John Rolfe, but probably did not convert to Christianity or visit England ... Read full review

Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma : The American Portraits Series (American Portrait Series)

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Famous in American legend as the Indian woman who saved and then married Captain John Smith of Jamestown, Pocahontas has often been a symbol of the capitulation of Native America to British ... Read full review

Contents

Body
3
Back Matter
179
Back Matter
211
Back Matter
215
Index
217
Back Matter
225
Back Cover
228
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Camilla Townsend lives in Hamilton, New York, and is an associate professor of history at Colgate University. She is the author of Tales of Two Cities: Race and Economic Culture in Early Republican North and South America.

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