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American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  394 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews

For four hundred yearsfrom the first Spanish assaults against the Arawak people of Hispaniola in the 1490s to the U.S. Army's massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in the 1890sthe indigenous inhabitants of North and South America endured an unending firestorm of violence. During that time the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as 100 millio

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Published October 1st 1992 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1992)
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Simon Wood
Oct 12, 2015 Simon Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

David Stannard's "American Holocaust", aptly published during the ahistorical hoo-hah that marked the 500th year since Columbus "discovered" the Americas, takes as its subject the genocidal destruction of the Native Americans in north, south and central America in the aftermath of the western European invasion.

The book is split into three parts, the first and shortest of which provides remarkable insight into the great variety of indigenous peoples that po
Apr 10, 2011 IAMLEGION rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't know how I could possible express in a few words, this books effect on me. It's a not like any holocaust that ever happened since. You won't find this in your high school history books, because it's too gruesome.
Mar 28, 2007 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like the truth, and people who like being sad.
The definitive review of what really occurred in the Americas before and after Columbus set sail. This book will point you towards the truth, but it will also make you extremely depressed. The author does not hold back when describing the horrific acts of torture and flat out slaughter that took place. There are some "good" bits too-- a nice portion of stuff about Bartolomé de Las Casas.
Theophilus (Theo)
The tale of not just who discovered and conquered America, but how they did it. A story of extreme violence, genocide, and biological warfare perpetretated against people because they occupied a land the Europeans wanted. Tons of references and some lithographs of the conquerers in action. Letters from witnesses. Not for the squeamish.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this years ago when it first came out. It was an eye-opener! I had no idea that disease wiped out so much of the native American population before Jamestown was settled and the Pilgrims arrived. I own a copy and always recommend it to friends who are interested in history.
Chris Neumann
Apr 22, 2013 Chris Neumann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will open your eyes to the atrocities done to Native Americans from 1492 to the present. The conquerers of North and South America brutally carried out genocide on the native people in the name of God and the search for gold. In the course of five hundred years, 95 percent of the Native American population was dead (over 100 million people mudered). Every school should have to teach this book to children alonside with the first Thanksgiving to give some much needed perspective. I wasn' ...more
Jun 02, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I wonder if there is any humanity in us humans.
Jun 27, 2012 jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yeah - reading the TRUTH in print
Matthew Griffiths
A sobering account of the massive destruction of life that took place in the wake of Columbus' discovery of the Americas. This book offers an important insight into the way in which European contact with American Indian's was almost inevitably doomed to end in massive loss of life for the Americans. Of particular interest were the segments that discussed the development of the religious-racial justification for the slaughter of Indians and Jews in Europe and the placing of this ideological devel ...more
Feb 26, 2016 Victor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A devastating read. Stannard documents the destruction of the Western Hemisphere's native population, and it is horrifying. He shows that Native Americans did not "vanish" without cause; they were eradicated by European diseases and by planned genocide. "The destruction of the Indians of the Americas," writes Stannard. "was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world." Citing primary documents and eye-witness accounts from early Europeans, Stannard lays out a narr ...more
Timoumi Tarik
Oct 17, 2015 Timoumi Tarik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very informative book. Shows how thé destruction of thé native American was premeditated. gives à good amount of détails about the genocide. replacés those events in thé context, explaining how it links with the irish conquest and massacres by the english and with the crusades. one can be disappointed however by the relative lack of account about thé chronoligical events, i.e. the battles,war and so on but it's not the topic of the book. If one wants to learn in details about the native American ...more
Words cannot begin to describe how much I loved especially the first part of this book. I've always been interested in the hidden history, the history that the victors, as it were, has spent a lot of energy trying to erase, and I don't think it was until I read this book that I fully realized how much about the history of the Americas I'm ignorant of.

The history of the systematic racism and genocide of the Americas really does shed a light on Europe as a whole. There were times when I had to put
Robert Kirkconnell
Oct 30, 2015 Robert Kirkconnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 14916219
A wealth of information about what was in the Americas and what happened to the people, land, and culture. First hand accounts of the beautiful cities, food production, and lack of violence that made up a culture which was far advanced of anything in Europe. Add to this, facts such as there were over 100 million people in the Americas and that they had been here for over 40 thousand years. Stannard documents that this was a genocide that far exceeded anything else in history, before or since.

David Lucander
If the first chapter of Zinn's "People's History" hit you, check out this extended meditation on race, sexuality, Christianity, and genocide. There's a lot of dead bodies in these pages, but Stannard has a few moments of interpretive insight to make it more than a recounting of hacker slasher bloodbaths.
Aug 29, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The European Conquest of America involved a genocidal war on the American Indian. This book gives us that history.
Jan 30, 2016 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Very dry but packed full of information. It put a different spin on the conquest of the America's and pulled apart the standard textbook idea that disease was the biggest factor on the huge amount of native american deaths.
Jun 07, 2010 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only a history of holocaust in North and South America, but the psychology of it as well. The author presents his research as a corrective to the history books. Yes, we may be dimly aware of the disease and violence that swept away indigenous populations, but not the scope and scale of the genocide. This was a consciousness raising book. Now when I pass those acorn grinding holes on the way down to the Middle Fork of the American River, I will now have to make myself remember that the old Sa ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for content. It was thoroughly researched and obviously a very important subject matter. The writing was a bit dry, and I think a bit repetitive. He continued long after he'd already made his point. But it's definitely a more academic oriented book.
Brian Andersen
A powerful and sobering analysis of the racism and violence that led to the near extinction of the Indian population from the Americas. The author provides context and data that makes one shudder in horror. It is at times unrelentless with facts and figures but necesarry as well in order to fully show the magnitude of what was really a religious war to ethnically cleanse two continents of its indigenous people.
Apr 26, 2011 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a disturbing book about the so-called "discovery" of the Americas. Stannard is providing information about Columbus, Cortes, and the other explorers of the late 1400s and early 1500s that is not covered in general American history courses. It is terrible to read about the horrors some explorers inflicted upon the Natives, but it is a valuable experience to do so.
Sep 04, 2014 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is certainly an interesting and informative account of genocide in the Americas, but I'm not entirely convinced by the main argument. The spirit of advocacy works against the author's argument in this case. Also, the figures cited are not that reliable. Estimates should always be cited as estimates, not established facts.
This is a most excellent, comprehensive book on the is a mentally tough read because of the details necessary to explain the true horror of what has happened to an entire race of people.
I have to read this book for an African American college course and it really helps to elaborately define the history of America and the details of what truly happened. Great book!
Chris Pederson
Nov 15, 2014 Chris Pederson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Our school system never taught us of the wholesale slaughter of the native population of the "Americas". A heartbreaking book, but a necessary read for every American.
Seamus O'Keeffe
Jul 24, 2015 Seamus O'Keeffe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was tough going, solely because it's difficult to read about such a level of near total genocide. Heart breaking but a must read for everyone.
Oct 20, 2014 sologdin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
if the first chapter of Zinn's people's history didn't hammer home how horrible the conquest was, this text should thoroughly persuade.
Seth Augenstein
Feb 15, 2016 Seth Augenstein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vital reading for Americans. Even if one only believes a tenth of what Stannard reports, the scale of the horror is astounding.
Feb 16, 2011 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read book that discusses one of histories great crimes that gets little recognition or attention from the general public.
Kyle Worlitz
Jul 31, 2011 Kyle Worlitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat monotonous book on a very important subject. I learned enough from the read that it sort of offset the dull tone.
Jul 28, 2009 Bradley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think that I read this for a course at Baylor University entitled: American History, taught by Dr. Gary Hull.
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“The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world. That is why, as one historian aptly has said, far from the heroic and romantic heraldry that customarily is used to symbolize the European settlement of the Americas, the emblem most congruent with reality would be a pyramid of skulls.” 3 likes
“The European habit of indiscriminately killing women and children when engaged in hostilities with the natives of the Americas was more than an atrocity. It was flatly and intentionally genocidal. For no population can survive if its women and children are destroyed.” 0 likes
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