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Stolen Continents:The Indian Story Hardcover – 16 Apr 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; First Edition edition (16 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719549124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719549120
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 936,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Hardcover
As someone having absolutely zero knowledge about this tragic history, this book was extremely enlightening and insightful. The author makes it clear from the outset that he intends to present the history from the perspective of native Amerindians, and then proceeds to discuss, describe and analyse the invasion, conquest, occupation and resistence of 5 separate native american peoples, after the arrival of Europeans from the early 16th centuary.

The book is split into 3 sections, dealing with the initial contact between "old world and new" and the subesequent conquest, the occupation and native resitance to it, and the rebirth of the native peoples after occupation and colonisation, i.e its' effects on culture, livelihood, the landscape, enviroment and population numbers and so on. Learning about the origins and developments that has lead to the existence of modern America and Latin America has been truly insightful and engaging; it has given context to the present; to the birth and existence of what is now the most powerful nation on the planet, allowing me to consider the contradiction of its self-proclaimed title as "empire of liberty" and the sheer aggression, greed, violence, lies and cultural intolerance that made such an empire possible, and the implications that has today. It has also shown me the struggle faced by a native population whose world had been litterally raped, ransacked and turned upside down by the white man, their reactions, thoughts and feelings toward the invader, and how they responded to the situation initially and over many centuaries.

While the book has given me a basic but firm understanding of this paticular area of history, it has also given me something I feel is much more valueable.
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Format: Hardcover
Truly remarkarble book that tells the story of the 'discovery' of the Americas through Indian eyes. As history is always told by the victors, 1492 is seen as the beggining of the 'modern world' with all positive connotations associated with it. But, for the First Americans it was the beggining of an invasion, repression and genocide that continues to this day. More than 90% of the original American died through diseases and direct killing. Ronald Wright tells us the story of the conquest as it was seen by five native peoples (the Aztec, the Maya, the Incas, the Cherokee and the Iroquois) using the records that survived the invasion.

For the Indians, the arrival of the Europeans brought disease, killing, subjugation and treachery. Treachery was commonly used especially with the Cherokee and the Iroquois. Time and time again these nations were forced to sell their territories being promised that they would never be bothered again. Their territories were gradually reduced until they were incorporated in the alien country. It's remarkable the hypocrisy of these governments when they use treaties in trial signed by the Indians because they had no choice and discover that they constantly broke them.

During the 19th century, governments in Mexico, the US, Peru, Canada introduced the notion of private property and abolished all communal lands in the name of 'progress' and 'civilisation' which seriously damaged indigenous systems. This opened more land for the purchase of white settlers. Farming became more 'efficient' but the soil was seriously depleted within a century and farming is not an option in the areas affected.
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