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Native American History For Dummies [Paperback]

Dorothy Lippert , Stephen J. Spignesi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 29 2007 For Dummies
Call them Native Americans, American Indians, indigenous peoples, or first nations — a vast and diverse array of nations, tribes, and cultures populated every corner of North America long before Columbus arrived. Native American History For Dummies reveals what is known about their pre-Columbian history and shows how their presence, customs, and beliefs influenced everything that was to follow.

This straightforward guide breaks down their ten-thousand-plus year history and explores their influence on European settlement of the continent. You'll gain fresh insight into the major tribal nations, their cultures and traditions, warfare and famous battles; and the lives of such icons as Pocahontas, Sitting Bull and Sacagawea. You'll discover:

  • How and when the Native American's ancestors reached the continent
  • How tribes formed and where they migrated
  • What North America was like before 1492
  • How Native peoples maximized their environment
  • Pre-Columbian farmers, fishermen, hunters, and traders
  • The impact of Spain and France on the New World
  • Great Warriors from Tecumseh to Geronimo
  • How Native American cultures differed across the continent
  • Native American religions and religious practices
  • The stunning impact of disease on American Indian populations
  • Modern movements to reclaim Native identity
  • Great museums, books, and films about Native Americans

Packed with fascinating facts about functional and ceremonial clothing, homes and shelters, boatbuilding, hunting, agriculture, mythology, intertribal relations, and more, Native American History For Dummies provides a dazzling and informative introduction to North America's first inhabitants.


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Product Details


Product Description

From the Back Cover

Get an authentic perspective on Native peoples past, present and future

Understand key historical events as they actually happened

Want to know more about America's indigenous peoples? This straightforward guide breaks down their thousand-year-plus history and explains their influence on European settlement of the continent. Gain fresh insight into the major tribal nations; their customs and traditions; warfare and famous battles; and the lives of such icons as Pocahontas, Sitting Bull, and Sacagawea.

Discover:

  • How tribes formed and where they migrated

  • The impact of Spain and France on the New World

  • The lives of influential Indian men and women

  • How Native peoples maximized their environment

  • The meanings of their beliefs, symbols, and rituals

About the Author

Dorothy Lippert, PhD: Dorothy is Choctaw and an archaeologist. She received her BA from Rice University and her MA and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She works in the Repatriation Office of the National Museum of Natural History. Dorothy serves on the Executive of the World Archaeological Congress and on the Board of Directors for the Society for American Archaeology. Her research interests include the development of Indigenous archaeology, repatriation, ethics, and the archaeology and bioarchaeology of the Southeastern United States.

Stephen J. Spignesi: Stephen Spignesi is a best-selling author of more than 40 books, including his highly-acclaimed debut novel, DIALOGUES (Bantam). His latest book is George Washington’s Leadership Lessons (Wiley) written with James Rees, the Executive Director of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. He is also the co-author of Second Homes for Dummies (Wiley). His book, JFK Jr. (Citadel), was a New York Times best-seller.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stepping stone Feb. 16 2010
Format:Paperback
If you are interested at all in a thorough overview of Native North American people...this is a great start.

I love these books for Dummies. They offer concise, thorough, bite size bits of information on any subject of interest. They give insight as to where you want to pounce next for greater volumes of information.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Native American History for Dummies Sept. 8 2011
By Betty E. Huffman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Provides a quick overview of most major American Tribes, but like most English history books on Native Americans, some of the history is dead wrong. Don't depend on this book for real knowledge, but rather a cursory overview of when, who, and where some things actually happened regarding Native Americans in the past.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow and completely biased May 3 2012
By Ernst - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book when visiting the US hoping to learn something about the Native Americans.

Regarding the History of the Native Americans it is completely shallow. A lot of data about the different migrations (this one is the most complete section of the book), something about tools and weapons, something about the main Tribes and Chiefs, something about their languages, the places they lived in and the relation with their neighbours, something about the situation of Native Americans today regarding social and legal status.

A bit of everything but too shallow for my taste. For an overview it's not so bad. Almost nothing about beliefs and rites, by the way.

The insulting part comes when talking about the relations of the Natives and the Europeans when they first met.

The authors are really reluctant to say anything bad about how the English and the Americans later treated the Natives. There are only a few lines telling the story about the smallpox contamitated blankets and only a brief mention of the massacre Custer wanted to perpetrate... even though in the end he was the one who got massacred. For the authors, the English didn't do almost anything wrong. And if they did, the authors tell it in a pair of lines and skip to the next topic.

When reading this book one starts to think that the English arrived in America with the sole intention of giving out lollypops and cuddle toys to the Natives they might came across. It is like they hadn't killed, fooled, enslaved, exploited, almost exterminated and sent to live in reserves any Native American.

The authors have not so many problems when describing the Spaniards as soulless bloodthirsty demons who only wanted to kill helpless Natives for fun. They are portrayed as such evil beings that it is almost comical.

It seems the lies of the Black Legend about the Spaniards lives on in the minds of many...historians. But since it has been proved to be a smearing campaign of the years in which Spain was the most powerful country in the western world I thought the authors would be a bit more objective regarding that topic. Obviously they are not as objective as I hoped they would be.

As a Spaniard myself I feel insulted by the lack of objectiveness the authors show. If this book is so biased and full of trites in this regard I must doubt of the value of everything else which is presented here.

This book is useless for me.

I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone who wants an objective, critical and professionally written History book.

Don't waste your hard earned money on that. I'm sure there are far better books out there.
5.0 out of 5 stars Native American History Nov. 12 2013
By Jason Brandley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am working on writing an historical novel, this is a good source of info regarding the who, what and wheres of Native Americans.
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland and un-Dummies Like June 18 2013
By Michael Menninger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book on N.A. History seems very high-schoolish and bland. It could certainly use a lot more graphs, maps and pictures which are rare. Descriptions and setup of N.A. History is dull and sophmoric. I lose interest almost immediately when reading a section. Wish I could return in.
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, but not the definitive word March 13 2013
By Wayne B. Norris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked the contents, but found the writing a bit amateurish. For example, much more was made of things like Indian/Native American beads than a book with a title like this probably deserved. It was clearly researched, and the author - a Native American professor - is obviously an authority. I just found it a bit sugar-coated.
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