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The Mammoth Book of Native Americans: The Story of America's Original Inhabitants in All Its Beauty, Magic, Truth and Tragedy (Mammoth Books) Paperback – 1 Feb 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 571 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing (1 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841195936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841195933
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jon E. Lewis is a historian and writer, whose books on history and military history are sold worldwide. He is also editor of many The Mammoth Book of anthologies, including the bestselling On the Edge and Endurance and Adventure. He holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in history. His work has appeared in New Statesman, the Independent, Time Out and the Guardian. He lives in Herefordshire with his partner and children. Praise for his previous books: England: The Autobiography: 'A triumph' Saul David, author of Victoria's Army The British Soldier: The Autobiography: 'this thoughtful compilation ... almost unbearably moving.' Guardian 'Compelling tommy's eye view of war.' Daily Telegraph 'What a book. Five stars.' Daily Express

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 75 people found the following review helpful By C. M. James on 18 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
If you were fascinated by films such as "Dancing with Wolves" or "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee", you will definitely enjoy this book. This book is the story of America's true history. The history not many people know about: The history of Native Americans. The story guides you through the different peoples, from Sioux to the Iroquois, passing through several different tribes and cultures in between. The story of why they are now extinct, how their societies worked and the true meaning of their traditions and culture... This book describes all the possible aspects of this incredible culture, history and way of life. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ainetheon on 17 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis J. E. (ed. 2004) The Mammoth Book of Native Americans. Constable and Robinson Ltd., London.

This is a voluminous tome, condensing information without missing out the human element, and which is easy to read. It is an anthology of factual information from a variety of sources, presented in such a way that even a high school student could follow without too much effort. The extensive bibliography tells of research done to back up the information offered to the reader. As far as I can ascertain there is balance without noticeable bias. The editor, Lewis, has done his job well in pulling the facts together and allowing the reader to 'hear' the long dead speak out. There are several lengthy quotations from various well known Indians and excerpts taken from diaries / journals of white soldiers of the time.

The book starts with a well set out contents list, broken down into four main parts followed by a chapter dedicated to the words of Luther Standing Bear (taken from: Land of the Spotted Eagle, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1933) and rounded off nicely with five quite lengthy appendixes. Before the book even begins there is a 14 page chronology covering from the first humans up to the year 2000. Another useful feature is the illustrations of the various Tribes; 3 maps in total.

Readers who are new to this historical period of American history or are embarking out on a quest of discovery will be delighted to have this book as their first step along this journey. Not only is it easy to follow, it is written by a person who knows how to keep his audience attentive. This is a book that will inspire the reader to seek out more information and where better to start than with some of the books listed in the bibliography. Those who purchase this book will not be disappointed.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. Hayes on 4 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Took this book on holiday and was a great read. Fascinating tragic true life story of American Indians, their culture and history from its beginnings up till modern times. Would definitely recommend this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melmoth on 10 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
It has been a long time since I read a book which has left me as amazed and as angered as The Mammoth Book of Native Americans. It narrates the history of the native peoples of North America from their first arrival on the continent to the present day in a manner that is both straightforward and compelling. That history is truly shocking, especially to those of us old enough to have grown up in the days when old-time Westerns were still run on BBC2 on Saturday afternoons and there was no doubt that the cowboys were the goodies and the Indians the bad. The story as told by this book - even though it is told with commendable balance and does not flinch from covering atrocities and idiocies committed by the Native Americans themselves - could not be more different. In part it is the story of a diverse range of peoples and their many ways of life - some farmers, some hunters, some fishermen - of their arts and their institutions, including the astonishing constitution of the Iroquois nation, in many ways a model of democracy based upon universal suffrage and first devised when Europe was still at the mercy of unelected kings and princes. But more than this it is also a very real tragedy, a story of waves of settlers - Spanish, English, 'American' - almost all of whom treated the indigenous inhabitants as less than human, who broke every bargain they made with them and sought time and time again to subjugate and even exterminate them, through simple murder, through starvation and even through an early form of germ warfare.
It is a story that will leave no reader unmoved. That it succeeds in finding some good news in the present day and better signs for the future can only be a tribute to its subject matter.
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90 of 102 people found the following review helpful By T. MacFarlane on 2 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
Wherever Europeans have settled, the indigenous peoples have had, at best, a very raw deal, at worst - like the Caribs and the Arawaks - they have simply been wiped out by the contact with the Europeans' germs, guns, and slave labour.
Involved in the Europeans' wars, the pre-Colombian Americans (if that's not an oxymoron) were cheated and duped out of their lands during the nineteenth century. Whenever they made a treaty with the government in Washington, it was torn up, and the so-called Red Indians lost even more of their land.
Having been provoked into war with the US, the native Americans were always "on a loser". They are all here in this book, the warriors who stood up to the whites, only to be killed, humiliated, or degraded.
It is a shameful story, told in massive detail, and as difficult to read as accounts of the Nazi Holocaust.
The original Americans were seen by the whites as savages, but the book gives the lie to that fiction.
Read in particular, the story of The League of Five Nations which details the Iroquois Confederacy, set up circa 1450. The author tells of how this "brought democracy and government" - with universal suffrage - at a time when no European country (?Iceland?) had any such thing.
We must not, of course, get too dewy eyed on this subject. Wars between Indian 'nations' were as common as they were in Europe, and petty nasty, too.
But if you read this book you might feel with me that there is a direct line from "the wild west" to Falujah and Baghdad.
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