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Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
American Indians remain familiar as icons, yet poorly understood as historical agents. In this ambitious book that ranges across Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and eastern California (a region known as the Great Basin), Ned Blackhawk places Native peoples squarely at the center of a dynamic and complex story as he chronicles two centuries of Indian and imperial histor ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Harvard University Press (first published November 30th 2006)
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Nov 29, 2009 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot to say about this book, not least of which is that it's a great survey of American Indians in the Great Basin at the time of colonization. Blackhawk does a solid job of detailing the complex interactions between Indian tribes and colonizers, whether Spanish, Mexican, American, or Mormon settlers. He also brings to light the relationships that existed between different tribes, giving a great overview of Indian slavery, a historical and human fact almost completely missing from tradi ...more
Joseph Stieb
Ned Blackhawk’s Violence over the Land presents the history of the Great Basin Indians and their interactions with the Spanish, British, and American empires. Blackhawk responds in this book to many harmful myths about the conquest of the American West. Most importantly, he undermines the idea of primitivism by presenting the Great Basin Indians as having a history, developing culturally, acting strategically, and playing key geopolitical roles. This is a dark and compelling history, one which a ...more
Sep 21, 2010 Alessandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Blackhawk, it is the “harrowing, violent native histories” which form the foundation of colonial America, and it is within this framework of violence that a larger understanding of American and indigenous history must be reconsidered.
Beginning with Ute-Spanish relations in the 17th century, and continuing with 18th and 19th century colonial encroachments, Blackhawk successfully analyzes not only the violent nature of colonial-native relations, but also the obscured narrative of inter-trib
Christina Moodie
The writing in the introduction was a bit of a put-off as the pedantic language seemed to be straining too hard to make a point. But, the body of the book flowed quickly with logically paced historical coverage. This is a broad overview of a huge geographical area and its native inhabitants' history. The violence is not, as one might expect, only laid out on the white man's side. Mr. Blackhawk shows how centuries of using violence as a means to an end, usually an economic end, became a pervasive ...more
May 31, 2012 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ute slavers show up at mormon settlements, demanding that the mormons buy the paiute women and children they'd captured earlier. mormons refuse out of principled humanitarianism. the utes threaten to kill the captives unless the mormons buy them. so the mormons buy them, release them for a short time and then decide that after all having your own paiute to haul water or cook for you is pretty nice... and years later when a traveler passes through the mormon corridor he remarks "every family had ...more
Oct 23, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting exploration of the Ute experience in the western US.
Feb 09, 2013 Hawkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important book that provides a history of the interaction between Native peoples in the intermountain region of the current Western United States and Spain from 1690s to 1850s. Devastating cruelty and Native slavery. By the time 'Americans arrived various Native tribal groups had been radicalized by Spain's violence.
May 09, 2009 Marsha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anth-hist-ethno
I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in southwestern history. Especially if you are already familiar with the Pueblo Revolt.
Jul 04, 2012 Kallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in unvarnished U.S. history.
Recommended to Kallie by: History prof
Shelves: american-history
Blackhawk writes a detailed, feeling history about a subject not discussed or taught as often as it should be: slavery in the Southwest.
Nov 12, 2008 Jennifer is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Still on my to-read list. I really do intend to get to this book!
Mae Cannon
Dec 07, 2009 Mae Cannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for Alan Taylor's "Early American Encounters"
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