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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid and engrossing account of King Philip's War.
Three centuries ago, New England Native Americans were forced into war with the English colonists who had been gradually destroying the native economy by stealing their land, interfering with their hunting, fishing, and farming, etc. The resulting war, known as King Philip's War, decimated the English population and very nearly rid New England of whites entirely...
Published on 29 Oct 1998

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Proof texting is not the best way to come at truth
To neglect to convey to the reader the atmosphere of fear in which both parties lived is to ignore a significant factor in their behavior. Lepore comes closest to recognizing this when she has the Indians say to Roger Williams that "they are in a very strang way" as a reason for the killing in Rhode Island, where settler and native had lived more or less...
Published on 1 Oct 1998


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid and engrossing account of King Philip's War., 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Three centuries ago, New England Native Americans were forced into war with the English colonists who had been gradually destroying the native economy by stealing their land, interfering with their hunting, fishing, and farming, etc. The resulting war, known as King Philip's War, decimated the English population and very nearly rid New England of whites entirely. English technology and European diseases ultimately won out over theWampanoags and their allies; there was never again an "Indian threat" in New England. "The Name of War" recounts the struggle as told in English accounts; official documents, diaries, and letters. Author Jill Lepore makes the point that history is always written by the victor. What makes the retelling of King Philip's War so one-sided is the fact that the conquered, the Native American tribes, had no written language in which to tell their side of the story. Very few natives of that time could read or write English and, if they left any accounts of the war, they have never been discovered. Lepore goes on to show that what subsequent generations of Americans thought about the war was based entirely on the writings of the colonists and later, anglo scholars and writers. Their view of the Native American ranged from pagan devil-worshippers, as shown by the Mathers and other early religious leaders, to Noble Savage (Cooper) and finally, Vanishing American (The Curse of Metamora). These attitudes, calcified in books and plays, became the stones upon which later White treatment of Indian nations in other parts of the country were based. The final confrontation at Wounded Knee two hundred years after King Philip's War, had its birth in the earliest chronicles of the seventeent-century. This book is a must for all who want to understand the basis for the disastrous Indian-White relations of the last three centuries .For those of us who make a living through writing, the book reminds us of the power of words and theawesome responsibility authors have to use those words wisely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars American history as it should be presented., 24 April 1998
By A Customer
Our history books continue to present our
country's story in conventional patriotic terms.

America being settled by courageous, white

colonists who tamed a wilderness and the savages in it. With very few exceptions our

pop culture depicts these people who actually

first discovered America and without whose help the colonists would not have survived, as immoral, despicable savages who needed to be removed by killing and shipped out of the country into slavery. And for those few who

remained, they just had to be converted to

Christianity. Jill Lepore tells us there was another side to the story of our native American at the time of the King Philip War, which provokes the reader into asking questions about what the actual relationship between the colonists and the native Americans they found here. More importantly the reader is asked to think about who were these native Americans and why did they fight with the colonists. Lepore's has her own views. The so-called Indians had good cause to be provoked by the colonists and they were trying to send them a message about it. The colonists either didn't get the message, misunderstood the Indians or understood them but didn't care. Lepoe presents her subject in a manner which invites her readers to make their own interpretations of what happened in this country between the colonists and the Indians in 1675-76, as well as what manner of people they were and what might this might all mean for us today.. Lepore's treatment of the subject is

just what James W. Loewen said history book's

should be."Lies My Teacher Told Me-Everything

Your American History Textbook Got Wrong."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Ethnohistory., 19 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Jill Lepore has written the best ethnohistorical approach to King Phillip's War to date. She attacks many of the traditional myths of the 'savage Indian'; in their place, she describes the Native American on equal terms with the Puritan Euro-Americans. The resulting anaylisis shed light on both cultures -and the resulting synthesis culture when arose because of Euro-Native contact.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some deep thoughts about our past, 16 April 1998
By A Customer
This book, by presenting a little studied war in our colonial days, shines a brilliant spotlight on many of our concepts of ourselves, our destiny, and our frequent ability to ignore reality in the justification of our actions. A well written book about the time between the 'Pilgrims' and the 'Colonials' that we have all heard about in school. Very worthwhile reading!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Proof texting is not the best way to come at truth, 1 Oct 1998
By A Customer
To neglect to convey to the reader the atmosphere of fear in which both parties lived is to ignore a significant factor in their behavior. Lepore comes closest to recognizing this when she has the Indians say to Roger Williams that "they are in a very strang way" as a reason for the killing in Rhode Island, where settler and native had lived more or less peaceably for forty years.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars repetative, lacking detail, nonlinear time scale, 5 Aug 1998
By A Customer
While a fascinating topic I know little about, this book was very hard to read. It is definitely not for history lovers who want to be introduced to King Philips War and the times around it. Rather, it is for readers who already know all the facts they want to know and who want to read a detailed discussion of the relationship between English colonists and the local Native Americans.
The main theme of the book is interesting, and the author does have a fresh point of view. But she hammers her point so hard she has managed to drive the life out of the book.
The decision to discard a linear time scale in the book was very distracting, especially for this reviewer who was not that well versed in the actual time course of events.
On a positive note, the decision to include direct quotes from writers of the period with intact spelling was a great one, these tidbits into the past are what ultimately make the book worth reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fanciful, repetitive, lacking substance, needs editing, 2 July 1998
By A Customer
The difficulties that I had with the book (repetitiousness, tediousness and a predilection for fanciful metaphors, speculation and conclusions) could be attributed to a promising young authoress in need of an rigorous editor. Or so I thought. But Mr. Wood in his Review of the book in the NY Rev of Books who saw these same defects suggests that these difficulties may represent a trend. He even puts a label on it. "Post modern history". I hope not!
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The Name of War
The Name of War by Jill Lepore (Paperback - 27 April 1999)
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