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Historical Review of New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America by Colin G. Calloway - Essay Example

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Colin G Calloway is Professor of History and Professor of Native American Studies; he received his PhD in 1978 at the University of Leeds in Great Britain. He has been associated with the Native American studies program since 1990 when he first came to Dartmouth as a visiting professor…
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Historical Review of New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America by Colin G. Calloway
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Download file to see previous pages Most books today will fill out the landscape or shine light into the dark interstices of existing paradigms. A few take the reader on a journey guided by a new map. A very few provide a reader a new atlas informed by new perspectives and new information. Calloway's New Worlds for All synthesizes the recent work of ethno-historians and historians of the colonial period into a coherent and convincing, new historical and cultural atlas of the first three hundred years of contact between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of North America. Hundred and fifty years ago, Franz Boas observed that when two cultures meet neither culture remains unchanged. The central point of Calloway's book demonstrates convincingly that historians should have attended to Boas all along, for the record of cultural borrowing, adapting, adopting, rejecting, modifying and creating, that recent historians have identified adds a wonderful richness to our understanding of American culture. The historic tradition that favored tracking the triumph of European and then American culture over Indian cultures mapped at best only part of the terrain. Calloway corrects that imbalance offering a more complex and sophisticated analysis, without feeling compelled to attack older historians. Nearly a century ago, Bernard De Voto made a passionate plea to change the story line of American history that dismisses Native Americans as little more than a hindrance to the course of progress. "American history" he wrote " has been written as if history were a function solely of white culture-in spite of the fact that till well into the nineteenth century the Indians were one of the principal determinants of historical events. De Voto charged that " American historians have made shockingly little effort to misunderstand the life, the societies, the cultures, the thinking, and the feeling of the Indians, and disastrously little effort to understand how all of these affected white man and their societies". Calloway's scholarship over the past several decades has answered De Voto's call for change by wining a rich vein of precious ore, representing the work of scores of Indian historians, anthropologists, linguists, archeologists, agronomists, and other scholars, he has constructed a primer on the myriad ways in which European colonizers were Indianized and Indians were Europeanized over two centuries continuous contact in North America. By canvassing the entire North American continent-necessarily incorporating French-Indian, Dutch-Indian and Spanish-Indian as well as Anglo-Indian contacts-Calloway has struck a useful blow in a campaign to treat the colonial period as something more than a preview of the emerging of the nation state. Calloway employs lucid prose and captivating examples to remind us that neither Indians nor Colonists were a monolithic group. Although many Americans consider the establishment of the colonies as the birth of the American country, in fact early America already existed long before the arrival of the Europeans. From coast to coast, Native Americans had created enduring cultures, and the subsequent European invasion remade much of the existing land and culture. In New worlds for All, Colin ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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