Indigenous Continent : The Epic Contest for North America
by Hämäläinen, Pekka

Introduction: The Myth of Colonial Americaix
Part One THE DAWN OF THE INDIGENOUS CONTINENT (the first seventy millennia)
Chapter 1 The World on the Turtle's Back
Chapter 2 The Egalitarian Continent
Chapter 3 Blind Conquests
Part Two APPEAR AT A DISTANCE LIKE GIANTS (the long sixteenth century)
Chapter 4 Terra Nullius
Chapter 5 The Powhatan Empire
Chapter 6 Wars at the Water's Edge
Chapter 7 The Pequots Shall No More Be Called Pequots
Part Three THE CONTEST FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN INTERIOR (early and mid-seventeenth century)
Chapter 8 The Rise of the Five Nations League
Chapter 9 Enemies of the Faith
Chapter 10 The Power of Weakness
Part Four THE INDIGENOUS BACKLASH (late seventeenth century)
Chapter 11 The English as a Little Child
Chapter 12 Metacom's Challenge
Chapter 13 Virginia's Civil and Uncivil Wars
Chapter 14 The Great Southwestern Rebellion
Part Five THE ENDURING INDIGENOUS CONTINENT (early eighteenth century)
Chapter 15 Holding the Line
Chapter 16 They Smelled like Alligators
Chapter 17 An Infinity of Rancherias
Part Six THE HEART OF THE CONTINENT (mid- and late eighteenth century)
Chapter 18 Magic Dogs
Chapter 19 Wars to the End of the World
Chapter 20 British America Besieged
Chapter 21 Worldly and Otherworldly Wars of Independence
Chapter 22 A Second Chinese Wall
Part Seven AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS (late eighteenth century to early nineteenth century)
Chapter 23 The American Crucible
Chapter 24 Western Promises
Chapter 25 The White Devil with His Mouth Wide Open
Part Eight THE AGE OF EQUESTRIAN EMPIRES (nineteenth century)
Chapter 26 The Long Removal Era
Chapter 27 The Comanche Ascendancy
Chapter 28 The Lakota Shield
Epilogue: Revenge and Revival458(7)
Illustration Credits539(2)

"This nation's history and self-understanding have long depended on the notion of a "colonial America," an epoch that supposedly laid the foundation for the modern United States. In Indigenous Continent, Pekka Hèamèalèainen overturns the traditional, Eurocentric narrative, demonstrating that, far from being weak and helpless "victims" of European colonialism, Indigenous peoples controlled North America well into the 19th century. From the Iroquois and Pueblos to the Lakotas and Comanches, Native empires frequently decimated white newcomers in battle, forcing them to accept and even adopt Native ways. Even as the white population skyrocketed and colonists' land greed become ever more extravagant, Indigenous peoples flourished due to sophisticated diplomacy and flexible leadership structures. As Hèamèalèainen ultimately contends, instead of "colonial America" we should speak of an "Indigenous America" that was only slowly and unevenly becoming colonial. In our myth-busting era, this restoration of Native Americans to their rightful place at the very center of American history will be seen as one of the most important correctives yet"-

Native scholars like Dina Gilio-Whitaker and Ned Blackhawk have long worked to correct the version of American history that emphasizes anemic Indigenous resistance and the inevitability of white westward expansion. Hämäläinen (The Comanche Empire, 2008; Lakota America, 2019) builds on their work in a magisterial chronicle of Native agency in the face of settler colonialism. For centuries after first contact, Indigenous nations employed a strategic blend of diplomacy, trade, and warfare to limit European and American influence, playing the colonial powers against each other to secure advantageous trade routes and treaties. In general, the most numerous losses of life among Native nations were attributable to encounters with European diseases rather than European military forces. Although the colonizing powers claimed ownership over an ever-growing swath of the continent, Hämäläinen argues that they typically lacked the resources to enforce that ownership, leaving space for Indigenous nations to maintain and expand their own spheres of influence. Essential reading for fans of Beacon Press' ReVisioning History series and any reader seeking a more complete understanding of American history. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

A vigorous, provocative study of Native American history by one of its most accomplished practitioners. Finnish historian Hämäläinen, professor of American history at Oxford, is a noted student of Native American systems of governance and commerce. In this follow-up to Lakota America, the author focuses on the long war between Indigenous peoples and alliances with the European colonial powers. "By 1776," he writes, "various European colonial powers together claimed nearly all of the continent for themselves, but Indigenous peoples and powers controlled it." That changed following the Revolutionary War, when Americans began to spill over the Appalachians, spreading the American empire at the expense of empires maintained by such various peoples as the Comanche, Lakota, and Shoshone. Hämäläinen uses the idea of Indigenous empires advisedly. With solid archaeological support, he ventures that the great Ancestral Puebloan stone building called Pueblo Bonito could very well have been built by slave labor, while at Cahokia, near present-day St. Louis, the "commercial hinterland extended from the Great Lakes to the Gulf coast and the Appalachians," constituting a vast, complex trade network. Against railroads and repeating rifles, such empires tumbled; against miscomprehension and assumption, peace was out of the question from the very beginning. The table was barely cleared at the first Thanksgiving when the newly arrived Puritans "thought that the sachem"-the hereditary leader of the Wampanoag Confederacy-"could be reduced to a subject of the king of England." It didn't help that these Native empires were often pitted against each other until reservations and small corners of the continent were all that was left-those and the Canadian subarctic, which long after "endured as an Indigenous world." Even then, however, "it was not an Indigenous paradise; the contest for furs, guns, and merchandise fueled chronic animosities, collisions, and open wars." Throughout, the author resurrects important yet often obscured history, creating a masterful narrative that demands close consideration. An essential work of Indigenous studies that calls for rethinking North American history generally. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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