NATIVE ROOTS by Jack Weatherford

NATIVE ROOTS

How the Indians Enriched America

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Another insightful and provocative contribution by anthropologist Weatherford (Indian Givers, 1989, etc.) to increasing national recognition of the extent of white America's debt to Native Americans. Taking far-off Tuktoyaktuk, inside the Arctic Circle in Canada, as a point of departure, Weatherford illustrates that interdependency between white and Indian cultures persists today- -there, between a DEW-line radar installation and the old Inuit community nearby. Historically, the author details how early explorers from DeSoto to Lewis and Clark used native guides, and how many natural resources (timber, furs, cash crops of tobacco and King Cotton among them)--the economic foundation of white North America--were husbanded and harvested by Indians. Moreover, Weatherford points out, Indians as well as Africans were enslaved, and from native women as companions to European trappers and traders arose prominent mixed-blood groups such as the proud MÇtis of central Canada. Evidence past and present combines to indicate contributions to language, military tactics, food, and philosophy, creating in each case an example concise and scholarly, yet at times lively and even poetic. Quietly subversive but wonderfully accurate--a comprehensive, memorable tribute to the pervasive Native American influence on those who destroyed a way of life even as they assimilated it.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-517-57485-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1991




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