Jaylia3's Reviews > The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America

The First Frontier by Scott Weidensaul
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

it was amazing

For hundreds of years before the thirteen colonies were established, Native Americans and Europeans interacted along the east coast of what is now the United States, and The First Frontier: the Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America tells that fascinating but for me largely unknown story. The First Frontier covers some of the same ground as Charles Mann's books 1491 and 1493, but with a tight and detailed focus on the tribes, settlements, varied goals and shifting allegiances of the Native and European people during the early contact years along the eastern seaboard. After a brief introduction, the book begins before the first Europeans, probably Viking raiders and Basque fishermen, made contact and continues until shortly before the Revolutionary War. At a time when religious wars were being waged across Europe, the settlers saw as many differences between themselves--Lutheran, Catholic, Amish, Pilgrim, Puritan and Quaker--as they did between themselves and the native people, whose complex and rapidly changing cultures varied just as much. Having spent most of my life on the East Coast this colorful, lively pre-history of the United States was particularly interesting.

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