The ""wonderful and tragic story"" of Indian cultures in America from the Ice Age arrival of Asiatic peoples across the Bering Strait to the Spanish conquests. The author opens up the thrilling notebook of the archeologist from which the histories and fates of various Indian cultures have been uncovered. The early hunters, the basketmakers, and moundbuilders of the South and West, the Mayans, Aztecs, Iroquois, and Incas have ll contributed magnificent chapters in the story of man; the author focuses a Toynbeean perspective upon these cultures, both living and extinct, offering to the young reader a basis of comparison to our own civilization. The writing is informal, but covers a great amount of material, and the author never attempts to stifle her enthusiasm for the subject. Liberally illustrated with drawings by C. B. Falls and 32 photographs. In all, a deep dish with a eady flavor -- a future staple on history shelves, and a tempting first glimpse at the science of archeology.