Longfellow was inspired to write his well-known poem by a misnamed 19th-century book of legends, The Myth of Hiawatha, by Henry Schoolcraft. Fradin explains that the popularity of the fictional Song of Hiawatha usurped the name of an Onondaga (or possibly a Mohawk) who, in about the 15th century, persuaded the five tribes in what is now New York State to give up their blood feuds and form the Iroquois Federation. As Fradin makes clear, what's known about this ""great peacemaker"" comes from the oral tradition, which he supplements with information about the Iroquois culture as it would have been in Hiawatha's time. Illustrated with photos of ancient artifacts and modern works of art by Iroquois, this is attractive, lucidly presented, and careful to acknowledge sources: a book that not only sets the record straight but highlights a fine Native American hero. Bibliography, index.