Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America
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Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  13 reviews
"Well written, imagery-ridden...A tale of what was, what became, and what is today regarding the Indian relation to the European civilization that 'grafted' itself onto this ancient system.'"
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
Conventional American history holds that the white settlers of the New World re-created the societies they had known in England, France, and Spain. But as anthr...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 15th 1992 by Ballantine Books (first published 1991)
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Wade
Mar 28, 2009 Wade rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in Political Science, Cultural Anthropology, and the founding of America.
Recommended to Wade by: My mom gave me a copy of Indian Givers for Xmas 1993 and I decid
Shelves: history
One mark of a good book is that you just keep thinking about it in between the times you are actually reading it, and then again after you've read it. This is one of those books.

The inside cover of the book sums it up extremely well: "...foreigners 'grafted European society, language, and culture, onto an ancient stem" which is now America.

The combination of first reading Indian Givers by Weatherford and then Native Roots provides such a rich, detailed, and fair backdrop to the events of Ameri...more
Deborah Martin
I am interested in almost anything related to the First Peoples - as long as it's well-written. Native Roots captured my interest from almost the first paragraph.

Mr. Weatherford has done a great deal of research (as one would expect from a professor of anthropology). What could be a dry publication written for professionals in his field is presented in an easy-to-read manner.

Although most people know that many place names in the US are of Native origin, most people don't know that many words in...more
Erin
While the book is, as the cover says, thoroughly researched, it does leave one wanting a bit. Not sure exactly for what - possibly more of a human character to the narrative?

Also, I sometimes feel as if Mr. Weatherford was stretching a bit to make his argument. Yes, many place names and words are based on Native American languages, but isn't that the way of any conquering army? I mean, the Mongols didn't change all of the Middle East place names to Mongolian words. What I mean is that it is not...more
Renee
This is a very good beginning of trying to untangle Truth from perception (I know perception is truth, so notice I spelled truth with a capital 'T') in the gifts given to our modern world by indigenous peoples. If you liked this book you should definitely read Craig Childs "House of Rain"...there is much more work that needs to be done in this area but Jack Weatherford has laid a good foundation. If you know only what you think you know from movies and TV, read this book.
elizrs
Really good overview of how there is so much in our modern society, in social structure, food, language, and more, that we owe to the people who lived on this continent before invaders/settlers decimated their populations through disease and war. Concepts of governing and democracy, so many words we use daily, and so much more originated with them. Really good author, professor at Macalester, author of Indian Giver, two books on Mongols, and other books, too.
Meg
Interesting facts, a little too much description of places, and the book felt a little dated.
Rachel
Expanded my understanding of Native culture and gave me a greater appreciation of how Native people's truly shaped America. I especially enjoyed the chapters on language and place names. Wish I had been able to find more info on Weatherford. I'm a little suspect on how his research is viewed by Native peoples. Couldn't find any record of him on oyate, which is my go-to resource for best Native reading/reference.
Ilya
How did the Indians enrich America? White America owes them place names such as Seattle, the help they gave to the explorers and early settlers, the labor done by Indian slaves (of whom there were quite a few in the 19th century and before, though not as many as of African slaves), the hunting and fishing techniques the white pioneers borrowed from them.
Mo
I read this one a few years ago, as I remember it did offer some really good insight to my understanding of Native Americans, but I also remember thinking it was a rather dry read.
Andrea
Interesting and well written. Gives evidence for the Native American influence on the landscape and on later inhabitants.
Chris
I love Jack Weatherford's books. It would be such a privelege to take one of his classes.
Swapnil
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Ertugrul
Mind blowing
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Jack McIver Weatherford is the former DeWitt Wallace Professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota. He is best known for his 2004 book, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. His other books include The History of Money; Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World; and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescu...more
More about Jack Weatherford...
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire The History of Money Savages and Civilization

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