Engrossing and authoritative, McDonnell’s rich history is academic in nature but welcoming to lay readers.




A history of the Native American tribes that inhabited the Great Lakes region during early American colonization.

The great tribes like the Iroquois, Sioux, and Huron are well-known to history, but there are still many lesser-known though equally important tribes that remain unrecognized for their vital influences in the development of the American Colonies. As McDonnell (History/Univ. of Sydney; The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia, 2007) makes clear, chief among these groups was the Anishinaabeg nation of the Great Lakes. Comprised of the Odawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi, the Anishinaabeg settled principally in Michilimackinac near the Strait of Mackinac, which separates Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. As a strategic chokepoint between the Great Lakes, Michilimackinac’s location had both spiritual and political significance to its people. Most notable among the Anishinaabeg’s geopolitical influence was their role in the development of the fur trade and supply chain that brought the prized pelts from the remote outposts of the American interior to French colonial settlements along the St. Lawrence River, crucially aiding the imperial efforts of the French crown. As a political force in the region, the Anishinaabeg’s influence was critical in forging allegiances during the Seven Years’ War, ultimately reshaping the imperial politics in the Americas. McDonnell skillfully captures the history of the group from the 17th century through the early 19th century, restoring the nation’s legacy and filling in a vital historical link in the timeline of the Americas—and the maps at the beginning help readers orient geographically. Though the Anishinaabeg were able to maneuver around many of the pitfalls that other Native American tribes suffered, such as alcoholism and the declining fur trade, they still could not stave off the inevitable forced removal from their lands by Euro-Americans.

Engrossing and authoritative, McDonnell’s rich history is academic in nature but welcoming to lay readers.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8090-2953-2

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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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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