The idea of the Native American living in perfect harmony with nature is a cherished contemporary myth. In this book Shepard Krech seeks to correct the stereotype. Krech surveys North American environmental history to explore the relation between humans and the rest of nature before and after the arrival of Europeans. He addresses such questions as: were Pleistocene-era humans responsible for the extinction of many large mammals in North America? Did the Hohokam of Arizona destroy their society by over-irrigating and over-salinating theor crops? What role did native Americans play in the near-extinction of the deer, the beaver and the buffalo? How did they use fire? And was the natural "Eden" that awed the first European visitors just a feature of very low-population density? Providing historical and anthropological evidence, he offers a new picture of Indians as sophisticated humans who both changed the land and responded to its changing ecology.
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Shepard Krech is a professor of anthropology at Brown University. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and in Maine.
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Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The Idea of the Native American living in perfect harmony with nature is one of the most cherished contemporary myths. But how truthful is this larger-than-life image?According to anthropologist Shepard Krech, the first humans in North America demonstrated all of the intelligence, self-interest, flexibility, and ability to make mistakes of human beings anywhere. As Nicholas Lemann put it in The New Yorker, "Krech is more than just a conventional-wisdom overturner; he has a serious larger point to make. . . . Concepts like ecology, waste, preservation, and even the natural (as distinct from human) world are entirely anachronistic when applied to Indians in the days before the European settlement of North America". Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0393047555
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