May 15, 2015
Last fall, the Smithsonian Institution published Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton , the first comprehensive study of the most important human skeleton ever found in North America. This milestone is particularly significant due to tremendous political controversy and tribulations that scientists have faced in trying to study the remains and publish their findings since the skeleton was first unearthed in 1996.
The book contains 33 essays written by 52 authors on a plethora of subjects including the historical movement of humans into the Americas, curation of the skeleton, skeletal morphology and pathology, orthodontics, biomechanical analysis, injury patterns, burial context, 3D modeling, molding and casting methods, Early Holocene humans, identity through art, and human coastal migration from Southeast Alaska.
May 3, 2015
When University of Kansas researcher Paul Kelton came across a description from missionary Daniel Butrick that documented a Cherokee ritual aimed at fighting smallpox, it changed Kelton’s thinking about the role diseases played in European colonization of the Americas.
“There are a lot of books out there that are dedicated to how Europeans came to acquire so much land in the Americas, but it seems lately that these books are beholden to this idea — that it was germs above all else that allowed Europeans to come and take over,” Paul Kelton, KU associate professor of history, said.
February 14, 2014
This humongous volume of over 1200 pages offers a fresh, absorbing portrait of the United States from the origins of its native peoples to the nation’s complex identity in the 1990s. Covering political, economic, cultural, and social history, and combining hundreds of short descriptive entries with longer evaluative articles, the encyclopedia is informative and engaging.
While covering other aspects of American History, The Reader’s Companion to American History edited by John A. Garraty and Eric Foner also explores the American Indian Wars between the indigenous tribes of the United States and the ever expanding influx of European settlers. Here are some of the wars covered in this interesting history book.
May 13, 2007
This month marks the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown, the British colony in Virginia. Two new children’s books offer fascinating insights into both the British colonists and the American Indians on whose lands they settled.
September 21, 2005
One Thousand White Women The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus Book Excerpt: In September of 1874, the great Cheyenne “Sweet Medicine Chief” Little Wolf made the long overland journey to Washington, D.C., with a delegation of his tribesmen for the express purpose of making a lasting peace with the whites. Having spent the […]
November 11, 2001
Peggy Albright’s book is the first extensive study of Richard Throssel (1882-1933), a Creek Indian adopted into the Crow tribe, where he lived and worked beginning in 1902, photographing the Crow extensively for both artistic and official purposes.
After a brief introduction to Throssel as “an Indian who had no tribe” and the Crow community that took him in, Albright makes an extensive examination of his aesthetic foundation as someone with the ability–as well as the opportunity–to mediate between his adopted culture and the outside world.
She then reproduces numerous Throssel photographs with explanatory comments by contemporary Crows.