When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.
(Chased-by-Bears, Santee-Yanktonai Sioux)
'The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America'
by James Wilson (Author)
Now available in paperback, The Earth Shall Weep is a groundbreaking, critically acclaimed history of the Native American peoples. Combining traditional historical sources with new insights from ethnography, archaeology, Indian oral tradition, and years of his original research, James Wilson weaves a historical narrative that puts Native Americans at the center of their struggle for survival against the tide of invading European peoples and cultures. The Earth Shall Weep charts the collision course between Euro-Americans and the indigenous people of the continent, from the early interactions at English settlements on the Atlantic coast, through successive centuries of encroachment and outright warfare, to the new political force of the Native American activists of today. It is a clash that would ultimately result in the reduction of the Native American population from an estimated seven to ten million to 250,000 over a span of four hundred years, and change the face of the continent forever. A tour de force of narrative history, The Earth Shall Weep is a powerful, moving telling of the story of Native Americans that has become the new standard for future work in the field.
'Native Americans continue to hold a special place in the modern imagination. Images of the Native American as "noble savage," as grunting Hollywood brute, or even as nature lover reinforce what author James Wilson describes as "the principal role of Indians in US culture throughout the twentieth century: helping America imagine its own history." Wilson hopes to rescue them from this role and place Native Americans within their own context by attempting to view the Indian-European encounter through their eyes. The result is an engaging history of North America and its peoples--and a welcome addition to the already voluminous literature on the subject. Wilson weaves Native American oral traditions and archeological, ethnographical, and historical evidence into a compelling narrative. Chapters on regional groups and their histories--from the Algonquians of the Northeast to the Zuñi of the Southwest--emphasize both their differences and their similarities. Wilson also traces the shifting relationships between Indians and non-Indians and investigates the reasons behind their misunderstandings. As Wilson points out, the image of the Native American as spiritual guide and Green Party spokesperson, while more romantic, is no more realistic than the image of the ignorant savage. Frequent excerpts from personal interviews allow Native Americans to speak for themselves and remind us that, far from ending at Wounded Knee, the Native American experience continues to evolve. Wilson's clear prose, command of the subject, and detailed suggestions for further reading make this book valuable to scholars and general readers alike.'