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500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians

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Presents an illustrated history of North American Indians from their origins to the present, and includes contemporary interviews and excerpts from journals.


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Presents an illustrated history of North American Indians from their origins to the present, and includes contemporary interviews and excerpts from journals.

30 review for 500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Nay

    This book is truly inspiring. Between the amazing illustrations and photos to the depth at which the Native American people are looked at, this book gives the reader necessary insight into an amazing and misunderstood world. Everyone should read this book and familiarize themselves with their native brothers and sisters. Their plight is ongoing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ted Luster

    A worthwhile pictorial history of the "HUMAN BEINGS", and their relationship, with the CIVILIZATION which was forced upon them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christine D

    This book is big. It is an extremely comprehensive history of native people in North America. This is a bear of a book with a lot of information, not exactly bedtime reading but very thorough nonetheless. I had this book checked out from my local library for over two months, that's how long it took me to page through it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zmuda

    What an enjoyable book! It has important information supplemented with fascinating photographs & illustrations. I would suggest picking this book up at your local library before buying it. The information is good, but the book never goes into great detail about any of the events. What an enjoyable book! It has important information supplemented with fascinating photographs & illustrations. I would suggest picking this book up at your local library before buying it. The information is good, but the book never goes into great detail about any of the events.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Very interesting; does a good job of summarizing the "entirety" of The Indians of North America. It does have a rather left-wing bent to it (and I can be very left wing). It treats in almost all cases the Indians as if they are noble and beautiful and somehow more spiritual than the average human while describing in some detail the various atrocities, holocausts, ethnic cleansing, cruel torture etc. that they inflicted upon themselves and others. This does not, of course, excuse any of the abuse Very interesting; does a good job of summarizing the "entirety" of The Indians of North America. It does have a rather left-wing bent to it (and I can be very left wing). It treats in almost all cases the Indians as if they are noble and beautiful and somehow more spiritual than the average human while describing in some detail the various atrocities, holocausts, ethnic cleansing, cruel torture etc. that they inflicted upon themselves and others. This does not, of course, excuse any of the abuse that has been heaped upon them over the years, but should be kept in mind while working through this book. I think that this is a topic that is enriched by the wide collection of art and photography in this coffee-table book and overall it's well worth the few hours investment to get through it all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    SouthWestZippy

    Easy to comprehend collection of stories and information on the North American Indians with tons of Illustrations. I like the fact they put background stories or information with the Illustrations, nice touch. A few things here and there or speculation due to stories or information lost in time but with all the wonderful research done it does not taint the facts. Fascinating book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heath Lowrance

    This is an amazingly exhaustive history of Indians in the Americas, tracing their various cultures from the very first civilizations thousands of years ago to the final series of blows to their ways of life in the very late nineteenth century. It's lavishly illustrated on every single page and is a bit of a wrist strainer. Josephy does an admirable job of detailing the amazing diversity of Indian life across geographical lines- the way various tribes interacted with one another in both negative This is an amazingly exhaustive history of Indians in the Americas, tracing their various cultures from the very first civilizations thousands of years ago to the final series of blows to their ways of life in the very late nineteenth century. It's lavishly illustrated on every single page and is a bit of a wrist strainer. Josephy does an admirable job of detailing the amazing diversity of Indian life across geographical lines- the way various tribes interacted with one another in both negative and positive ways long before contact with Europeans arrived to herald the death knell of Indians as a race. And once the Europeans DO arrive, well... most of us are already familiar with the virtual genocide that occurred over the following few hundred years, but the sheer breadth and audacity of white people in the New World is staggeringly horrible. In fact, if I have any real complaint about this book, it's that the story begins to grow a bit redundant about halfway through. And that's not the author's fault; it's the fault of history. Over and over again, no matter how innocuously each encounter between Whites and Indians began, it always and without fail ended in disaster for the Indians. 500 NATIONS reminds us of the shame of our forefathers, and the ugly stains on our own history. I particularly found the sections on the Indian's experiences of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 to be illuminating. I'm an admirer of Tecumseh, and this book gives him his proper due. One reviewer has mentioned that Josephy's focus on how Whites destroyed Indian cultures over and over again revealed some sort of liberal bias. I find that argument a bit off-- is opposition to genocide solely a liberal preoccupation? I don't think so. Anyway, this is a book I can strongly recommend for anyone who wants a detailed, all-encompassing history of American Indians and their ongoing struggle to maintain an identity against overwhelming forces.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    I read (or rather, enjoy looking at) this thumping great volume not as a work alone, but as a visual aide memoire accompanying Josephy's masterly works on the history of First Nations in the americas. Sadly, I am reminded that one of the three books I have lent, never to be returned, was a similarly named, unillustrated and more detailed history of the first nations (published by Penguin, I think) which I lent, alongside two other books, to a television producer colleague. When he returned the two I read (or rather, enjoy looking at) this thumping great volume not as a work alone, but as a visual aide memoire accompanying Josephy's masterly works on the history of First Nations in the americas. Sadly, I am reminded that one of the three books I have lent, never to be returned, was a similarly named, unillustrated and more detailed history of the first nations (published by Penguin, I think) which I lent, alongside two other books, to a television producer colleague. When he returned the two pictorial works, he said he didn't recall ever having borrowed the Josephy, which I miss to this day, even though this makes up somewhat.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Okay, so, this is the kind of giant reference book that I'm certain NOONE reads cover to cover, and I would be counted amongst those. However, it does have what I expect to be a permanent home on my bookshelf.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The show was awesome, too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Big

    "I am Wind In His Hair. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julia Wherlock

    A very informative book. Well illustrated. A must for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlane Brady

    Moving. Well written and great art.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Stephens

    500 Nations covers the history of the Native Americans from pre-Columbian times to the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890 and lays a nice foundation for understanding many of the tribes that existed up through the nineteenth century. It does a fantastic job exploring the amazing amount of variety that existed in terms of geographic spread, population, culture, economy, and overall complexity of society. Anyone who believes Native Americans simply lived in tepees and hunted buffalo (me up unt 500 Nations covers the history of the Native Americans from pre-Columbian times to the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890 and lays a nice foundation for understanding many of the tribes that existed up through the nineteenth century. It does a fantastic job exploring the amazing amount of variety that existed in terms of geographic spread, population, culture, economy, and overall complexity of society. Anyone who believes Native Americans simply lived in tepees and hunted buffalo (me up until a few years ago) is sorely mistaken. Although I read the book straight through, it is probably best to read it in small pieces. This is not only because of all the details it provides but also because of how depressing it can be. It depicts one story after another of tribes being condescended to, lied to, manipulated, fought against, and ultimately forced out of their homelands. There was a passage in the middle of the book that summed up the trajectory of most encounters between Native Americans and European settlers: "What leaders of Indian nations did not understand, often until it was too late, was the way the Europeans viewed Indians. They were not white or Christian. They were savages--wild and brutish--in the minds of many, a dangerous and unfeeling commodity for the slave markets. The end result of the dehumanizing of Indian peoples was that Europeans would negotiate and cooperate with Indian nations as long as they had to, or felt it was in their self-interest to do so. Once a European community in North America was strong enough to dominate an area, however, the diplomatic agreements it had made with Indians became meaningless. The Europeans saw no reason to apply rules of honor to people they considered savages. Indian nations, on the other hand--though they had long-standing traditions of trade and diplomacy among themselves--were totally unprepared during the early periods of contact with Europeans to understand their mind-set. Often, by the time the Indian leaders realized that their only hope lay in war, the war was already lost." And yes, even though it does describe tribal imperfections and infighting, the book can probably be accused of being biased toward Native Americans. It does say far more negative things about European settlers and the United States government than it does about the indigenous people. But it seems like the kind of book meant to be read in conjunction with a standard American history textbook or at least in response to the dearth of information provided in most textbooks. So if this is a concern for you, think of it as a companion piece to Eurocentric history.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Simon Piman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Fascinating and insightful. A vivid picture of a clash of cultures and the brutality and suppression for one to overcome the other. Is it right to enforce your ‘civilised’ culture on other? I think not but this is a wonderful and moving read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tamara! aka AmyG.Dala

    Heartbreaking. Nothing like reading about how 'savages' were made to become civilized. Well, to it's credit, the book covers some pretty good ground, while trying to describe such a large number of tribes. Nice companion to the documentary.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Ratliff

    I read this book 20 years ago and picked it again. I absorbed a lot more the second time around. It is indeed the definitive guide on Native American history

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    Great history illustrating the suffering and murder we inflicted upon the Native peoples of the Americas under religious (specifically, Catholic) motivation and guidance. Good read if you want to develop empathy for the indigenous people with thousands of years of history, culture, and civilization before we violently wiped them out and placed the dregs of survivors that weren't slaughtered into Reservations to fall victim to chronic alcoholism.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Here is a collection of information about many of the Native American nations and confederations of theAmericas. It is a handy reference tool to get a scope of Native American relationships and ways of life.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    A. Book. To. Remember. Thanks. Doris.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Gorgeous pictures, banal text.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    heartbreaking but informative and filled with the voices of Native Americans

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Leach

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Judith

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christina Hall

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nan

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