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The Red Man's Continent: a chronicle of aboriginal America   By: (1876-1947)

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In "The Red Man's Continent: a chronicle of aboriginal America," Ellsworth Huntington takes readers on an enlightening journey through the rich and complex history of Native Americans in North America. With meticulous research and a balanced perspective, the author masterfully combines historical accounts, scientific observations, and cultural analyses to create a comprehensive narrative that sheds light on this often-overlooked side of American history.

Huntington's writing style is both engaging and informative, effortlessly transporting readers back in time to witness key moments and events. He skillfully weaves together various primary sources, including archaeology, anthropology, and oral traditions, to present a holistic view of the indigenous peoples who inhabited the continent long before the arrival of European settlers. Each chapter is a testament to the author's depth of knowledge on the subject, providing a thorough examination of societal structures, cultural practices, and the remarkable achievements of Native American civilizations.

One of the book's greatest strengths is its unbiased approach. Huntington avoids falling into the trap of perpetuating stereotypes or romanticizing Native American cultures. Instead, he offers a nuanced perspective, acknowledging the diversity among tribes and their often-complex relationships with one another. By doing so, he highlights Native Americans' immense contributions to agriculture, trade, governance, and even environmental stewardship, dispelling the notion that these societies were primitive or uncivilized.

Moreover, Huntington excels in contextualizing historical events within broader social, economic, and environmental factors. Whether discussing ancient mound builders, the rise and fall of the Aztec Empire, or the impact of European colonization, the author consistently emphasizes the crucial role played by geographic and climatic conditions in shaping the destinies of these civilizations. This unique approach adds depth and substance to the narrative, allowing readers to understand the underlying forces that influenced Native American history.

However, it is important to note that the book was published in 1921, a time when prevailing Eurocentric views were still prevalent. While Huntington attempts to present an unbiased account, there are occasional instances where cultural assumptions or generalizations slip through. Nevertheless, such occurrences are relatively infrequent and do not detract significantly from the overall value of the work.

In "The Red Man's Continent," Ellsworth Huntington successfully illuminates the diverse cultures, accomplishments, and struggles of Native American peoples. Readers will walk away with a newfound appreciation for the lasting legacy these civilizations have left on the modern world. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in American history, anthropology, or simply gaining a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry that comprises the history of North America.

First Page:



By Ellsworth Huntington







In writing this book the author has aimed first to present in readable form the main facts about the geographical environment of American history. Many important facts have been omitted or have been touched upon only lightly because they are generally familiar. On the other hand, special stress has been laid on certain broad phases of geography which are comparatively unfamiliar. One of these is the similarity of form between the Old World and the New, and between North and South America; another is the distribution of indigenous types of vegetation in North America; and a third is the relation of climate to health and energy. In addition to these subjects, the influence of geographical conditions upon the life of the primitive Indians has been emphasized. This factor is especially important because people without iron tools and beasts of burden, and without any cereal crops except corn, must respond to their environment very differently from civilized people of today. Limits of space and the desire to make this book readable have led to the omission of the detailed proof of some of the conclusions here set forth... Continue reading book >>

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