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Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In the traditional narrative of American colonial history, early European settlements, as well as native peoples and African slaves, were treated in passing as unfortunate aberrations in a fundamentally upbeat story of Englishmen becoming freer and more prosperous by colonizing an abundant continent of "free land."

Over the last generation, historians have broadened our und
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Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published October 11th 2012)
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Jack
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you've placed Alan Taylor's massive American Colonies: The Settling of North America on your to-read shelf and you haven't found the time or energy to dig into it, here's your "Plan B": Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction. It's a pocket-sized summary of American Colonies that retains the original book's basic framework and critical edge, minus the abundance of supporting details.

The following key themes of American Colonies can be found here, in miniature: A blunt assault on "American
...more
Karyn
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
This is a very concise introduction to colonial America. The harshness and brutality are always part of the picture, and the author does not spare the reader.
This book is informative and serves as a guide to further reading, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in how the New World was established by the European empires of the time.
Nicky
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was surprisingly not dry. I appreciated how it was broken down by country’s colonies and that the last chapter was on empire, featuring Captain Cook and Hawaii. Overall, a quick and useful read to prepare me for a colonial seminar.
Richard Subber
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another blockbuster in the A Very Short Introduction series.
No matter how much you know about colonial America, you’ll learn more from Taylor’s sweep of all the Atlantic horizons.
I won’t attempt the thankless task of summarizing a brief summary of the historical verities of the millions of American Indians who lived in North and South America for thousands of years, and of the Spanish, French, English, and Dutch colonists who invaded the Indians’ homelands.
For a new student of American h
...more
Mostafa Il idrissi
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book demonstrates again that history is always not how we try to picture it and an invitation to not succomb to the simplifications that american colonies formed a single body sharing the same ideologies ; that indians were one nation etc... we see here that it is not. Every colony has its own defining characters . For example I understood that nothern colonies first immigrants were relying on themselves for hard work because they believed in that , and that explains the low dependency on s ...more
Robert Oliver
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was just what I was looking for, a small and concise introduction to the colonization of the new world. I especially appreciated to strong inclusion of the Indian perspective. The author not only showed reactions to colonization, but accommodations as well. A very good short read, and if you are seeking a brief introduction.
Kathryn
Jul 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
Did not finish. Was not what I was looking for at all.
violet peters
summer reading for ap us history
Lily
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Served its purpose as an introduction to Colonial America and went into the right amount of detail on all matters.
Vienna
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting but boring. I probably would have liked it more if I didn't have to take notes on it for school. ...more
Amy Del Cid
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
A lot of information on a single page. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I didn't have to take notes for school. Dry at times and interesting at others, it wasn't outstanding. ...more
Cat
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty engaging for an introduction, arranged thematically rather than chronologically.
Daniel Wright
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
The early history of the colonisation of America, especially South America, is an era about which few people ever learn much about. This is a shame, as Alan Taylor shows in this enlightening little book, managing to get a great deal of information into a very small space without making it seem dense. The fates of the various regions and subcultures that arose are told as a series of separate but connected narratives, culminating in the independence movements at the beginning of the modern era.
Diana
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a history book that gives a basic overview of all the countries that colonized America. If your looking for a more in depth book about Colonial America this isn't the book for you. ...more
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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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