American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Civilization of the American Indian)

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9780806120744: American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Civilization of the American Indian)

This demographic overview of North American Indian history describes in detail the holocaust that, even today, white Americans tend to dismiss as an unfortunate concomitant of Manifest Destiny. They wish to forget that, as Euro-Americans invaded North America and prospered in the "New World," the numbers of native peoples declined sharply; entire tribes, often in the space of a few years, were "wiped from the face of the earth."

 

The fires of the holocaust that consumed American Indians blazed in the fevers of newly encountered diseases, the flash of settlers’ and soldiers’ guns, the ravages of "firewater," and the scorched-earth policies of the white invaders. Russell Thornton describes how the holocaust had as its causes disease, warfare and genocide, removal and relocation, and destruction of aboriginal ways of life.

 

Until recently most scholars seemed reluctant to speculate about North American Indian populations in 1492. In this book Thornton discusses in detail how many Indians there were, where they had come from, and how modern scholarship in many disciplines may enable us to make more accurate estimates of aboriginal populations.

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About the Author:

Russell Thornton is Professor of Sociology in the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

From Library Journal:

Just how many Indians were living in the Americas in 1492 is a hotly debated issue. In this well-organized presentation, Thornton systematically compares the various approaches scholars have taken , drawing his own conclusions . Among the factors he considers are the devastation caused by Old World diseases and wars with European settlers and the impact of Western removal on the Indian populace. Thornton also reviews contemporary Native American population gains and the increasing urbanization of this group as a whole in the 20th century. Highly recommended for American history collections in public and academic libraries. Mary B. Davis, Museum of the American Indian Lib., New York
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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