An absorbing exploration of Native American ways of mapping the land. Warhus, a museum curator, unfolds an account that is at once full of scientific complexities and of human interest. In looking at Native American maps, he invites the reader to consider the detailed knowledge of ``geography, political allegiances, and economic relations'' reflected in them, knowledge largely destroyed in the course of conquest. In case study after case study, he shows how maps made on buffalo skins, rocks, birch bark, and paper, maps that claimed territorial rights and explained treaties with other Indian nations, were simply ignored; many of those maps wound up in the drawing rooms and attics of the conquerors. Some eventually came to rest in museum collections. Warhus has been diligent in hunting these maps out, and we should be glad of it, for many of them are astonishingly detailed—one, made by an Iowa Indian in the mid-1850s, shows the tributaries of the Mississippi River nearly as well as any modern chart, while another, made by one of the last members of the Beothuck people of Newfoundland, is an extraordinary cultural atlas of the northern Atlantic seaboard at the time of the European arrival. To his account of the making of these maps Warhus adds a rich anecdotal history, telling the stories of the kidnaped Indian Miguel, forced to make maps of the southern Plains for the Spanish conquistadors, and of other Native Americans whose knowledge of the countryside was used to the invaders' advantage. Warhus closes his book with a look at modern efforts by the Hopi, Zuni, and other peoples to combine traditional geographies with modern mapmaking techniques, efforts that may be fruitful in pressing indigenous claims to lost territory. This richly illustrated work is a valuable contribution to Native American studies. (90 color and b&w illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-312-15054-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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