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Books - History - Historical Study - Best Books about American Indians

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    Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World: 15,000 Years of Inventions and Innovations (Facts on File Library of American History)
    by Emory Dean Keoke, Kay Marie Porterfield
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 December, 2001)
    list price: $65.00 -- our price: $65.00
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    Reviews (4)

    1-0 out of 5 stars This Book is a failure
    Government funded authors are making claims of other societies innovations to create false pride.

    Porterfield: "Ancient American Indians were building pyramids before the Egyptians. They domesticated corn from a wild grass. They performed complicated surgeries. They also knew how to work with platinum and how to vulcanize rubber, two things Europeans could not do until the 1800s."

    This reeks of falsity, and any truth of these accomplishments was not by American Indians, but specific Mesoamericans nationalities. This author is trying to use Mayan/Aztec accomplishment to boost "Native American" pride.This is similar to the attempts by afro-centrists in claiming they built pyramids, and Alexandria Library, even though it was Greeks/Egyptians.

    Yes Mesoamericans had ziggurats, in pyramid form, though they were built thousands of years after others in Europe, and Mesopotamia had done. To state though that they were built before the Egyptian ones is a blatant attempt at revisionist history that has no basis on facts. Khufu built Pyramids in Egypt such as The Great Pyramid of Giza, around 2550 B.C., well before Mesoamericans constructed any structures.
    In Mesoamerica, even most of the earliest pyramid-like mounds existed only around 1000 B.C.The Great Pyramid of Cholula for example, is a huge temple-pyramid complex built over many generations from the 2nd century BC to the early 16th century AD. It's a laugh to state ancient Indians or Mesoamericans invented them first. Pyramids from 5000 B.C are in Kashan Iran, and Pyramids from 2700 BC are in Greece. Their greatest pyramid Cholula took 1800 years to make; Giza was built in only 40 or so, and was created 4800 years before Cholula. Seems like Indian pride propaganda, though propaganda doesn't require facts, especially if government of U.S funds you.

    Vulcanized Rubber
    First of all, a British guy named Goodyear in 1800's(he has a tire named after him) invented vulcanized rubber, before that British innovation rubber was worthless for industry.Vulcanizing of rubber requires Sulfur. Vulcanization is a chemical process in which individual polymer molecules are linked to other polymer molecules by atomic bridges. Comparing Vulcanized rubber to latex rubber sap that was excreted from the rubber tree and used untreated by Mesoamericans is another lie that no half-witted person would recognize.Rubber sap from trees in South America was used as balls in games of sport, with the losing team getting their heart eaten afterward.
    Vulcanizing changes the rubber into an almost inorganic state in which it doesn't rot. The Indians lived near latex rubber sap, though the British vulcanized it, not the Indians. I suppose according to these authors logic they would say the Indians "knew of" petroleum refinery too because oil was first discovered in America.

    Domesticating the fruits of grasses occurred over 12 000 years ago in SW Asia, though it wasn't done by American Indians until 4000 years ago. There are over 10,000 grass types. Rice, and Wheat are also fruits of a grass that has been domesticated by the west for Thousands of years, nothing "innovative" there. Domestication of a grass after others have done it is not innovative or a discovery.Permanent Farming in Mesoamerica's started only around 1000 BC, this is not a contribution, or innovative since Europeans had been doing that 5000-8000 years ago.

    Porterfield claims Europeans did not work with platinum until 1800's, that's incorrect, Spaniards separated it while mining for silver in the 1500's.The Spaniards saw no use for it, partly because it has an extremely high melting point

    Yes, a few Mesoamericans worked with platinum first, as it was found on surface in some areas and didn't require mining.The Mesoamericans though couldn't separate, melt, or identify it. The Spanish-British did melt it, identified, and separated it first; it was done in 1700's not 1800's.

    I hope I have persuaded purchases away from this fictional book and of the authors.The author of this book is a history denier/revisionist.Sadly enough these history deniers/revisionists are government funded, just another load from the government to shove down peoples throat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended resource for students
    The collaborative effort of Emory Dean Keoke (multicultural relations and communications consultant and enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) and Kay Marie Porterfield (journalist for the "Indian Country Today, the largest Native American owned weekly newspaper in America), Encyclopedia Of American Indian Contributions To The World: 15,000 Years Of Inventions And Innovations is an exciting resource covering the rich and varied histories of Native American tribes and their precontact discoveries and postcontact influences. From the anatomical knowledge of the Mesoamerican cultures at AD 1100; to Native American contributions to agriculture, medicine and pharmacology; to hammocks of forest cultures; to the American Indian influence on Tabasco sauce, and so much more, the Encyclopedia Of American Indian Contributions To The World is an absorbing, 384-page reference offering information and insights into the complexities of Native American cultural history, interaction and social evolution. A highly recommended resource for students of Native American history and culture, the Encyclopedia Of American Indian Contributions To The World is an essential and core addition to academic and community library Native American Studies collections.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book on a largely ignored subject
    This is a very well researched and comprehensive book. It is quite monumental in its scope. To give you an example, I opened the book at random to page 139. One of the listings on this page is Ipecac. Many households know about this medication. It is
    usually used to induce vomiting. Children often swallow things they should not. The books goes into some detail about where the plant was first found, how it is refined, and how it came to be used by Europeans. It then lists some sources for further reading.

    It also has a great Appendix section. It shows which tribes lived where, including many good maps. The Chronology section lists when different things were discovered or invented by the indigenous people. It also has an appendix which lists the book's
    entries by area, by subject and by which tribal group is associated with that item.

    I know how long it took me to do the research associated with my book. I can only guess that the authors spent a very long time putting together the material in this book.

    EAICW has a plethora of listings and information. EAICW is 384 pages long and measures (in inches): 1.19 x 11.20 x 8.44. It is a BIG book. It would make an excellent addition to any well stocked library.

    I highly recommend it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0816040524
    Sales Rank: 640561
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: World    5. Indians    6. Inventions    7. Native American    8. Reference    9. Technological innovations    10. Technology   


    Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
    by James W. Loewen
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (03 September, 1996)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
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    Reviews (283)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Keeping children in a bubble
    The title is a bit of a misnomer. The real title should be `Omissions in Twelve History Textbooks'. At this point most Americans know that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had slaves but few probably realize than Patrick "Give me liberty or give me death" Henry also owned slave. It's no secret that Columbus was unkind to indigenous people but the depth of his brutality is still shocking. Mr. Loewen kicks over the shiny stone of carefully crafted American mythology to reveal the mud and worms beneath. Beyond just glossing over character flaws many history books create such blandness as when several popular textbooks describe the debate between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas focusing on their attire and posture ignoring the content of their speeches.

    History books aren't simply glossing over details. They are omitting THE defining characteristic of American history that being the pursuit of hegemony, first continental then global. Without understanding the primary American foreign policy how can Americans understand why the U.S. would engage in the destabilization of democratically elected governments and assassinations of leaders?In Iran, for instance the United States helped to overthrow PM Massadegh and install the despised and oppressive shah. This kind of stuff happens all the time particularly in Central and South America and the Middle East meanwhile uninformed Americans cry out `why do they hate us?'. The history books also omit causation as if things just happen as in `...and war broke out' as if war were a rash that occasionally flares up without reason. History is about causation and context and students are taught neither,

    The central problem, as Mr. Loewen points out, comes from the very structure of our education system. History is the most politically charged of all subjects in primary education. One person's hero is another person's heel. Northern states may prefer the term "Civil War" while Southerners prefer "War between the states" or even "War for southern independence". In order to satisfy all potential markets history books are written bland like elevator music neither castigating true villainy nor celebrating actual heroes. The good news is that history books have improved to some extent although it's more a reflection of changing attitudes in society and acceptance of some of the more unpalatable details of our past.

    What impressed me the most about this book was how complete it is. While I was reading the book I thought about related topics and before the book was over Mr. Loewen ended up touching on each one. For instance he mentions the absurd afro-centrism which was intended to empower young blacks but instead credited blacks with creating everything good while whites were left creating only slavery and theft. The book also mentions the various right wing groups that unashamedly work towards creating a sanitized history. He even mentions Lynne Cheney by name. Meanwhile in an age where information is increasingly accessible it's becoming quite naïve to believe that students can be kept in bubble. Instead students are becoming cynical and disinterested which may explain why teaching history is often being relegated to gym teachers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Treat to Read
    A nice critique on american educational history and the lies distortions and falsifications that are inherent in the pages of our childrens history books. The author makes no bones about it, history taught as it currently is, is boring, over-simplified, mostly always with a happy go lucky ending of events. The real object was to, of course make those on top appear better, more knowlegeable than the evidence shows...Loewan does a good job with correcting some of the distortions and at the same time he offers suggestions on how to improve the teaching of the subject,by replacing misrepresented history with historical information more closely aligned with the truth is a first step. No wonder revisionist history is so popular, it is so much fun discoveringthat everyone contributed to the planet!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very worth reading...I promise you will learn something new
    Many other reviewers have complained about the author's bias in the book.And it is quite true that Loewen has strong leftist leanings and that these leanings come through.

    It's still an excellent book, because even though his opinions are present, his complaints about the books and his suggestions for improving them are all based in fact.He footnotes everything and references respectable sources.You might disagree with his opinions, but his facts are well-argued and persuasive.You may or may not agree with his leanings, but amongst his opinions are a lot more facts, and those facts clearly indicate serious problems with our history curriculum.

    If the history curriculum literally lies or seriously deceives (for example, saying the US government "challenged" someone whom we actually assassinated), that's a problem, no matter what political leanings you may have. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684818868
    Sales Rank: 319
    Subjects:  1. Historiography    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: American    5. Indians of North America in te    6. Indians of North America in textbooks    7. Study & Teaching    8. Textbooks    9. Thanksgiving Day in textbooks    10. United States    11. United States - General    12. United States History (General)    13. Education / General   


    The Native Americans: An Illustrated History
    by David Hurst Thomas, Jay Miller, Peter Nabokov, Richard White
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1995)
    list price: $29.95
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    Reviews (2)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your money...
    This book has one over-riding theme repeated constantly: The White Man is always wrong and the Indian is and has always been an innocent victem. I won't list details, but the lack of objectivity and obvious implications to the promote the theme are insulting. Although the book may contain some valuable and useful facts about Native Americans and their lifestyles, it is impossible to determine how authentic any of them are due to the overt propaganda that is being constantly asserted.

    5-0 out of 5 stars History in Pictures
    A beautiful book that pleases the mind and eyes. Very authoritative and full of historical and anecdotal information relating to the Native Americans. Begins with pre-Columbus and continues through the ages to the90's. A must read for anyone interested in Native american culture andhistory. The photographs and illustrations are priceless and well worth theprice of the book. Add this to your history collection, younsters enjoybrowsing at the wonderful prints of paintings and illustrations. An easyread whose pictures entertain and captivate the imagination. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1570362394
    Sales Rank: 1152475
    Subjects:  1. Canada - General    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: American    5. Indians of North America    6. Native American   

    Native American Testimony: A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present, 1492-2000
    by Vine, Jr Deloria, Peter Nabokov
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 November, 1999)
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $6.78
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
    Native Americans have been fighting for ages to tell their side of the story, but they haven't been able to get through to the mainstream.In this book, Nabokov presents us the Native American perspective from prophecy to present.By reading the testimony of Native Americans themselves, we get a clear picture of their plight.This book doesn't give a detailed history of Native Americans, but rather gives us a finger on the pulse of the Native spirit.

    Native Americans have lost a great deal.When Europeans first arrived in North America, they did what they could to help these new brothers, and were happy to share what they had.However, the Europeans kept on coming and they started taking what didn't belong to them.The Europeans started fencing off the native lands.They destroyed the land and the animals with their greed.The Native Americans were continually pushed off their ancestoral lands and were driven to less desirable lands.They suffered the loss of their lands, traditions, and way of life.It's important for us as Americans to examine this sad episode of our history.We should take this lesson and apply it to our lives, and think about how we treat others who are different from us.I really recommend this book to those who are interested in reading the other side of the history of our nation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GIVES THE REAL STORY
    Native American Testimony is one of the best books I have ever read regarding the real history of the native peoples.It tells of the first meeting of the white man through the present.This is all from the Native American perspective.All tribes are represented throughout this book showing the different expereinces they each had with the white man. And the white mans need to change a beautiful culture.This book should be read by everyone at some point in there life, it should be mandatory within the school system as well.It shows the strength these people had to survive and how they fought for there rights.I enjoyed this book because for the first time in my life I felt I was being told the truth about the relationship of the US government and the Native Americans. Past to Present.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A stirring account of Native American history
    Using eye-witness,first-hand accounts, Nabokov provides a chronicle of Native American history.Authentic, moving, and vivid are the words that come to my mind.The photographs used also stir the heart. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140281592
    Sales Rank: 145402
    Subjects:  1. Government relations    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: American    5. Indians of North America    6. Native American    7. Native Americans    8. Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights    9. Sources    10. U.S. - Political And Civil Rights Of Native Americans   


    Atlas of the North American Indian
    by Carl Waldman, Molly Braun
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 2000)
    list price: $21.95 -- our price: $14.93
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Second great book by this author that I've rated 5 stars
    Great maps explained by easy to understand text passages are the hallmarks of this user friendly and highly informative, not to mention interesting, book. I'm very impressed by Carl Waldman's work, which is characterised not by fawning apologias but by respectful insightful investigatory analysis.

    5-0 out of 5 stars well done
    Excellent reference handbook and easy to read. 5 stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book! More than just an Atlas!
    They weren't joking when they said this was an exhaustive book, information wise.It's incredible!Not only do you have maps of everything from migrations of tribes to peyote usage, you also have chapter after chapter of the different cultural groups, full of details about daily life, wars, conflicts with the white settlers, etc.

    I use mine for reference--it's an amazing book. Get it! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0816039755
    Sales Rank: 14153
    Subjects:  1. Atlases - General    2. Atlases - Historical    3. Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies    4. History    5. History: World    6. Indians of North America    7. Maps    8. Native American    9. Reference    10. Sociology   


    Native American History
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (03 December, 1996)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars objective
    Judith Nies presents an excellent overview of both native american and european events as they parallel and eventually coincide with one another. Until reading her book, I was unaware of the extent of the brutality of the hispanic history towards the natives of all the areas of the americas; their responsibility for the genocide of millions of natives through a combination of enslavement, warfare and disease, creating a world where the natives preferred to kill their children and commit suicide rather than to continue to live.This is followed by a second tragedy, the establishment of the african slave trade to replace what they destroyed.Perhaps what is most effective in her writing is the objective and factual presentation of a complete history, free of personal or cultural bias.Recommended reading for anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars great referrence book
    like the title says, it's a great referrence book for those who wish for a brief overview of native history in the present-day united states as well as much of mesoamerica. good starting off point for further investigation.the great thing about the book is that it not only is a chronology ofnative events (which appear on the right side of a page), it also displaysmany significant events throughout the world (which appear on the left sideof a page) so the reader may gain a greater perspective. also includesshort articles thrown in for good measure and to expand a bit on topicssuch as the iroquois influence on the u.s. constitution, to tenochtitlan(present-day mexico city, site of ancient aztec capital), as well as briefintroductions to certain time periods. not a thorough examination, but anice listing of significant events in native history.recommendednonetheless.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Educational Book on Native Americans
    Many Americans have some Indian Ancestry.We need a book such as this to give us an accurate view of history, and recognize the accomplishments and the tragedies of the Native Americans.Judith Nies did the world a greatservice by documenting these events in an easy to follow format. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0345393503
    Sales Rank: 221289
    Subjects:  1. General    2. History    3. Indians of North America    4. Native American    5. Native Americans    6. Reference    7. Research    8. Social life and customs    9. Sociology    10. Reference / Research   


    The Founders of America: How Indians Discovered the Land, Pioneered in It, and Created Great Classical Civilizations; How They Were Plunged into A D
    by Francis Jennings
    Paperback (01 August, 1994)
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.87
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    Isbn: 0393312321
    Sales Rank: 361050
    Subjects:  1. History - General History    2. History: American    3. North American    4. United States - General    5. American history    6. Ethnic studies    7. History of specific racial & ethnic groups    8. North America   


    Encyclopedia ofNative American Tribes (Facts on File Lib of American History)
    by Carl Waldman, Molly Braun
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 October, 1999)
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $13.57
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Reference Work
    Excellent presentation of past and present information about the culture groups of native North America, arranged alphabetically and accompanied by a terrific selection of pictures. This reference book is easy enough to read that it works as a children's resource, but it doesn't 'dumb down' or get lost in silly romanticizing. I could recommend this book to anyone with an interest, but particularly for school libraries.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific!!!
    They say this book is designed for older teens or young adults. So how come an old guy like me read it enraptured and learned a lot! This is a very strong and well written book that will give you all the basics about tribal, ethnic and cultural differences, customs and habits. If you are interested in native Americans, but are not yet an expert, this is your book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A complete and easy to use guide
    Ever wondered if there were differences between the Apache and the Navajo, the Cheyenne and the Sioux? Did you know that many of the names we have for tribes were ones used by other tribes or by the white man? Learn what the different native american tribes called themselves, their sacred rites, their style of warfare- even what the tribes are doing today. This is a great tool for the novice since tribes are listed alphabetically, not by classification (such as Southwest, Plains, etc.). The only possible drawback is the generalization of the California Indians. This is a definite must have in any historian's library ... Read more

    Isbn: 081603964X
    Sales Rank: 139561
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. Encyclopedias, Juvenile    3. Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies - Tribes    4. History    5. History: World    6. Indians of North America    7. Native American    8. Reference    9. Sociology   


    America in 1492 : The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (02 February, 1993)
    list price: $20.00 -- our price: $13.60
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Americas before Columbus
    "America in 1492" is a collection of 14 essays, mostly by anthropologists, about the Indians of the Americas just before the voyages of Christopher Columbus.The editor contributes an introduction and the well-known Indian scholar Vine Deloria, Jr. adds an afterword.

    The book is attractive and its premise is superb: to describe the American Indians before their traditional life and culture were destroyed by the Europeans.But the book is not quite as good as it should be. The subject, ranging over two continents, is too broad to be covered adequately in one volume.The contributors are mostly anthropologists and the breadth of their vision is often restricted.Political correctness creeps into some essays.A description of the Aztecs trips quickly over the gory subject of human sacrifice -- widely practiced by the Aztecs and a central theme of their religion.

    Moreover, the approach of most writers is anthropological andhistorical information is mostly ignored. Within 50 years of 1492, the Spanish and other explorers encountered Indians from Newfoundland to Tierra del Fuego and their eye-witness accounts, however brief and biased, are invaluable.The integration of these early historic accounts with anthropological information would result in much more vivid and realistic descriptions of the Indians in 1492.Alas, many of the authors rely on their own anthropologicial speciality, ignoring the eye-witness accounts of Cabeza de Vaca and the expeditions of De Soto and Coronado, among others, which could add materially to the validity of their accounts.

    Finally, there is the afterword by DeLoria, the author of the best-selling, "Custer Died For Your Sins."In a thoughtful, interesting, but rambling essay, DeLoria introduces some fantastic notions.An inscription in Tennessee, he says, is written in ancient Hebrew -- thereby reviving the old (and ridiculous) theory that the Indians are descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.And, he proceeds onward to describe an Indian pictograph of a dinosaur, suggesting apparently that dinosaurs and American Indians co-existed!Without further explanation, such startling assertions do not belong in a book purporting to be factual.

    I don't want to leave the impression that this is a bad book.It's not -- many of the essays are interesting and worth reading -- but a better book could be written or compiled on such a fascinating subject.


    5-0 out of 5 stars A superb book.A MUST read for anyone interested in truth
    I am a professional computer scientist and an amature historian.This superb book makes the truth of what really happened so self evident that anyone who is really interested in truth must read it. It is expertlyedited and written.A pleasure and a heart rendering story, at the sametime. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679743375
    Sales Rank: 203153
    Subjects:  1. America    2. Antiquities    3. History    4. History - General History    5. History: World    6. Indians    7. North American    8. United States - General    9. History / General   


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