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The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of William Cooper's Town comes a dramatic and illuminating portrait of white and Native American relations in the aftermath of the American Revolution.

The Divided Ground tells the story of two friends, a Mohawk Indian and the son of a colonial clergyman, whose relationship helped redefine North America. As one served American expansio
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Paperback, 560 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Vintage (first published 2006)
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Juliet Waldron
Pulitzer prize-winning author Alan Taylor has subtitled this scholarly yet accessible history “Indians, Settlers and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution.” Beginning with the French and Indian war and concluding during the early nineteenth century, Taylor sheds new light upon European/Native relations by following the parallel careers of two men, the charismatic Mohawk Indian leader Joseph Brant, and Presbyterian missionary-turned-speculator Samuel Kirkland. The focus is New York S ...more
Billy
In the 20th century, American history shifted its focus away from Frederick Jackson Turner’s landmark “Frontier Thesis” towards “borderland,” studies, which focus on the fluidity of culture and power areas where national borders are yet well-defined. University of California-Davis Historian Alan Taylor’s latest book, The Divided Ground, is one such study. Its title purposefully recalls Richard White's The Middle Ground, a book that focused on the interactions and accommodations between cultures ...more
Marc
No one can fault Taylor's research, but this book has difficulty maintaining a narrative that is strong enough to make readers care about the anecdotal minutiae The Divided Ground spends much time discussing
Jabberwock
I've lived in western NY for over 30 years without understanding most of what preceded the modern era. This is revisionist in the sense that it's perspective is much more nuanced and balanced then typical milestone-based history that focus on battles and treaties - illuminating the conflicted motivations of both natives and settlers.

Taylor brings to life the humanity of many players - both Iroquois and European - but by focusing on two in particular gives us unique access to what lay behind the
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Joshua
Jun 07, 2009 Joshua added it
Shelves: dead-end
While reading "The World of Odysseus," I came across a footnote concerning the matriarcal society of the Iroquois. I was aware of this but knew little else. Intrigued, and wanting to learn more, I found the only book at our local library on the subject.

OK, I was mistaken. It seams to be just another dry, scholarly history. Besides, summer's comin' so why waste my time on something I'm b=not enthusiastic about. You know what I want to read....
David Trithart
Everyone living in the upstate New York area should read this book. We need to know the real history of our land. The relations between the European-Americans and the Native Americans between 1750 and 1820 is the focus of this book. It is a story far more interesting than what we have all learned in school. This books makes that history seem important and fascinating. The characters of the major players are vividly sketched.
John Daly
Excellent book describing early American history focusing on the Iroquois. The book told me more about land dealings than I really wanted to know, but the accumulation of detail was probably necessary to convince the reader of the accuracy of the revisionist history. It changed my ideas about the founding of the United States and taught me a lot about the Iroquois.
Benita
Aug 17, 2009 Benita added it
Reads a little too much like a doctoral dissertation turned into a book. I'm not opposed to exhaustive detail, but this just didn't keep my attention to all the detail. Even though I read it as background for a very interesting workshop, I kept wishing the author had paid more attention to giving the reader a reason to keep on reading!
Petter Nordal
I wish everyone I knew who lives in this area would read this book. Not only historically fascinating, the arguments about native creativity in dealing with new and unjust legal decisions is as relevant as ever, especially when you look at what's going on with the Cayuga Nation work to have land put into trust.
John
A quite complex examination of the wars fought for my old neighborhood (upstate New York) during the American Revolution. It examines the different understandings of this borderland region that the British, the Americans, and the Native Americans (specifically, the Haudonosee People/the Iroquois)held.
George
A powerful, sad story of how the Iroquois lost most of their lands and were forced on to reservations in the decades following the American Revolution. In part the story is told through the lives of Mohawk leader Joseph Brant and Samuel Kirkland, a white missionary to the Oneida.
Dan Rogers
Definitely not a quick read. I read this book in preparation for a summer workshop offered at Niagara University sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Chock full of information that must be slowly savored in order to fully appreciate the detail.
Howard Mansfield
Taylor’s history of the many treaties and alliances of the new nation after the Revolution shuns non of the complexity of the story. Thoroughly researched and well told.
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Alan Shaw Taylor is a historian specializing in early American history. He is the author of a number of books about colonial America, the American Revolution, and the Early American Republic. He has won a Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for his work.

Taylor graduated from Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, in 1977 and earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1986. Currently a professor
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More about Alan Taylor...
American Colonies: The Settling of North America (The Penguin History of the United States, Volume1) The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 Liberty Men and Great Proprietors (Institute of Early American History & Culture (Paperback))

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