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The Missionaries
Norman Lewis
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The Missionaries (Arena Books)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  45 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Based on his experiences with missionaries in Southeast Asia and Central and Latin America, Lewis has written a scathing account of how some missionary sects deal with indigenous peoples in their bid for the conquest of souls. He cites the creation of fear and the establishment of dependency upon goods which, without becoming wage-earners, the Indians could not procure. As ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 27th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1989)
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Jun 12, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
It would have been far better for these poor people never to have known us.
-- Captain James Cook

The Missionaries: God Against the Indians recounts an ongoing human tragedy. The book details Norman Lewis' experiences with christian missionaries over the course of his travels through Latin America and Southeast Asia. These missionaries, particularly US evangelicals, perpetrated the destruction of native cultures through their ruthless and relentless practices – from the stripping of forests and t
I wish I could give it 3.5 stars. It is a must read for contemporary missionaries as well as anyone interested in hunter-gatherer clashing with modern culture. At some points I feel like he meandered from his main subject and at others it was a little dry but overall it was a good read. As a prospective missionary, I can say the actions and attitudes recorded go against everything I have ever learned. My education is more anthropological and looks nothing like these ridiculous men and women who ...more
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Well intentioned, yet it ends up being an odd, wandering jumble of history, reporting, anecdotes and memoir. Lewis' other material blended these together much more successfully.

There is a moderate amount of dubious speculating and projecting of ideas and intentions onto the people he sees and writes about, instead of simply observing or asking the people themselves about it.

The subject matter of missionaries destroying the culture, habitat and way of life (to the point of genocide) of indigenou
I've been working my way through all of Norman Lewis' books. This was the roughest yet, due to its subject.

As its title alludes, the book covers how American missionaries in South America interfered with the health and culture of nomadic folks in remote areas (hunted them, force them to settle on the mission and be rented out as heavy laborers or worse, get them to give up their rituals).

Difficult, shocking topic, glad to have read it but hard to handle.
Jeni Harger
So far, this book is an easy read but not as engaging as I'd hoped. Obviously, you can tell a lot from the title. I expected it to be a little more historical in its focus. Instead the author writes about the current-day impact of evangelicism in Latin America and elsewhere. He really seems to be driving home the point that religion has been used for political purposes and selfish gain.
Aug 25, 2008 Lockhart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this doesn't convince you of the venality of those christian hypocrites who enslave indiginous populations, nothing will. Lewis's experience as described in this very easily readable short book, led him to help found Survival International, the campaign for tribal peoples' rights.
Les Dangerfield
I'm a fan of Norman lewis' non fiction writing but I found this one disappointing. The overall message is an important one but the book is too lossely structured for my liking - there's no logical progression to his writing.
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Norman Lewis was a prolific British writer best known for his travel writing. Though not widely known, "Norman Lewis is one of the best writers, not of any particular decade, but of our century", according to Graham Greene.

Lewis served in World War II and wrote an account of his experiences during the Allied occupation of Italy, titled Naples '44. Shortly after the war he produced volumes about Bu
More about Norman Lewis...

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