Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians, 1500-1760

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9780674751071: Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians, 1500-1760
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Red Gold covers the history of the Brazilian Indians from 1500 to 1760, from the point of first contact through to their conquest by the Portuguese. The first contacts between Europeans and stone-age natives aroused mutual wonder and even admiration. The Indians appeared to the Portuguese as 'people good and of pure simplicity' and so the myth of the 'noble savage' was born. The whites seemed god-like beings whom the Indians venerated for the metal knives and axes which would help them wrest a living from the jungle. However, this uneasy friendship was not to last. The colonists revealed themselves as brutal, greed fuelled men who abused the hospitality of the Indians, using their women as concubines and their men as slaves. As if this wasn't enough. European disease and tribal vendettas - stirred by the colonists - depleted and depopulated the tribes. This terrifically comprehensive history of the impact of European settlement, details the subjugation of almost 2,500,000 people, and starts a historical trilogy of breathtaking ambition.

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About the Author:

John Hemming was Director of the Royal Geographical Society in London from 1975 to 1996. He has been on several surveying and environmental-research expeditions to unexplored parts of Amazonia, and has probably visited more Indian tribes than any other non-Brazilian. He is the author of fourteen books including the prize-winning The Conquest of the Incas.

Review:

"'A comprehensive and absorbing account' Economist"

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