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The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  296 ratings  ·  57 reviews
The True Story of Pocahontas is the first public publication of the Powhatan perspective that has been maintained and passed down from generation to generation within the Mattaponi Tribe, and the first written history of Pocahontas by her own people.
Paperback, 138 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Fulcrum Publishing
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Larry Lamar Yates
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Pocahontas as finally told by her own people. (I suggest that the Disney Corporation, in an act of reparation, buy a copy of this book for every school in the United States of America.)
Gable Roth
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-non-fiction
This was an interesting book. I can see that some of the events may have happened in the way that they portray, but sometimes it seemed a little unbelievable. There is definitely a bias by the authors. When talking about the reasons why Pocahontas might have joined the Christian faith they listed almost every reason except for her actually believing and converting of her own free will... Which to me is a real possibility.

Also, the book was very repetitive. I have found that when people aren't t
Amy Edwards
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
Warning! Readers should be at least 12 years old, and possibly 14+. This story debicts acts of cruelty and sexuality not appropriate for younger readers. This story of Pocahontas is told by a native American, a descendant of her tribe. It's good to get the other side of the story, which does differ quite a bit from the English version. However, I found the author a bit too defensive and hostile about the English version. Just tell me the story, from your point of view, and I can do the compariso ...more
John Mark King
Jun 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-history
I really wanted to like this, but found it lacking in essential details...I guess that's what you get when you write down an oral history for the first time in 400 years. Still, it is good to have the Powhatans' perspective, albeit (understandably) limited. Their claims that Pocahontas was repeatedly raped, forced into marriage and then murdered may be true, but there is absolutely no evidence for it. ...more
Kelly W.
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book after seeing some discourse online about Disney’s Pocahontas and the difference between the European version of events and Indigenous oral histories. Someone recommended this book, so I gave it a go. Whether or not you will appreciate this book will largely depend on whether or not you understand how oral and literary history works; I’ve seen a lot of reviews that complain about “bias” and “hostility” towards the European versions of Pocahontas and the founding of the Virgi ...more
Catherine Petrini
Wow. Reading about Pocahontas from the Indian point of view completely changes everything you thought you knew. This book is based on oral traditions handed down from accounts by Pocahontas herself and from her family and friends. Occasionally I thought it moved into speculation. But for the most part, this rings true, and in many ways makes a lot more sense than what we learned in Virginia history class, which paints the English colonists in a much more flattering light.

I already knew that Poca
Adrienne  Lidicky
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Interesting to read the Pocahontas story from a Native stand point. There's alot history leaves out, for example, Native American rules and laws that would have prevented Pocahontas from doing what John Smith claimed she did.

Good read.
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting, though not quite what I was expecting. It was less a 400-year-old oral history finally committed to paper, and more a crafted response to the European narrative that has evolved through scholarship and pop culture, some of it very recent.

It would be a stretch to say this account definitively debunks other versions of events, but it's a worthwhile perspective to incorporate into an attempt to grapple with the messiness of a contentious history with repercussions still unfolding toda
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This is a written account of the true story of Pocahontas, as told by her people in the oral history of the Mattaponi tribe. The Powhatan, of whom Pocahontas was a celebrated member and whose father was the main chief, are no longer the tribe they once were, but her descendants live on with the Mattaponi tribe.

There is a saying, that history is written by the winners, and for the most part that has been true. I don't think I have heard of another account like this from anywhere else. It is usual
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was okay. It was interesting to read about the tribe's oral history and their side of the story of Pocahontas, but the writing was poor and dry. It was very redundant and could have been an even shorter book if the author didn't restate what he'd already said so many times. He also comes across as defensive, which is understandable based on the history. But it's still a little off putting as a reader. I found myself turned off of both the English for their cruelty as well as the indian tribes ...more
Kevin J.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Readers of this book should be aware that while several of the events in this book are plausible (i.e., could have happened because we don't really know what occurred in that time), this is not actual "history." It's the imagined ideas of two authors, one of whom is not an Indian (even though she uses the Indian name 'Silver Star' to fool readers). Basically, this book is a hoax, with ample provably incorrect information. Read "Meeting in the Middle; Myth-making in 'The True Story of Pocahontas: ...more
Sharon Bisaha
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
As the title suggests, the true story, as passed down amongst the Powhatan Indians, differs from that generally accepted. John Smith wrote up the story to glorify and protect himself and therefore bent the truth. The book is somewhat repetitious mimicking the rhythm of an oral presentation but it is short and interesting.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
EDIT: I just finished the book and have added a paragraph at the end.

I'm about halfway through this book and enjoying it. I actually like the writing style, very true to the way someone might speak. It's pretty to me. I love learning the Indian side of the story, and I'm sure there's a lot of truth in it.

With regards to the English, the authors sort of treat English culture and motives the way some English treated Indian culture - as savages. Fair or not, it's interesting and I think it's a te
Lisa Phillips
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
While the oral history tradition combined with recorded words makes this a bit difficult to read at times, I appreciate the candor with which it was written to set the record straight. History is generally written by the "winners," meaning conquerors. It is enlightening and worthwhile to also read the stories of those who were oppressed. Cruelty is difficult to understand if we see humanity as one. The settling of Jamestown could have been a very different story had the English and other invader ...more
Ashley Gilton
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cannot stress how this book is so important and is a must-read for anyone who is even just slightly curious about what happened to Pocahontas. This book starts off by stressing the importance of oral history to the Mattaponi tribe, and their descendants. I found this book at the Jamestown Historical Society in Virginia. I was interested in this book because it was the only one in the store written by Pocahontas's tribe members.

This book is amazing, and it really showed the importance of taking
Hero Dahlman
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, emotional story. I am glad I finally know the true story--the story from those who would know the most. This book is written very closely to an oral telling which doesn't always translate perfectly into written form. I think the writing style actually give more perspective to the story making us understand that this story is traditionally spread via word of mouth. The story is sad and beautiful and deeply upsetting. Some other reviews say that the things in the book aren't plausible a ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is unique in both its purpose and style. In a way, it is a contradiction of itself- a written account of sacred oral history; yet the way the authors acknowledge and work within that contradiction is poetic. On its surface, this is the story of Pocahontas as passed down in the Powhatan tribe for four hundred years. However it is also one of the most moving pieces of nonfiction that I have ever read. It brings to life the reality of a nation of people blindsided by a selfishness they co ...more
Apr 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
this was very interesting and a valuable perspective, i am grateful this book was published and made available to anyone to read. i do think it would have been improved by making more of a distinction between the parts that were Mattaponi oral history and the parts that were citing other sources and documents. blending it all together the way it is makes some of it a little less compelling than i think it could otherwise be. i did appreciate the inclusion of photographs, though, and the endnotes ...more
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am thankful this book was published so the story of Pocahontas could be told from the perspective of her people.

The story, as preserved according to oral tradition, sheds new light on Pocahontas, her people, and the greed of the settlers. It makes sense, honestly. Much more than the idealized “American” version of the story.

Where is the justice? Where do we go from here? How to we right these long-overlooked injustices? I wish I knew.
Cathie Knight
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It is so incredible how distorted the story has become and how little attention to actual Powhatan Nation's knowledge is given. People think Black America's whine and complain and that Native America's don't when in actuality Native American's are simply ignored in our society, they live apart, we don't hear them so we don't accuse them of complaining.
I am extremely grateful for the true story and I will be sharing it!
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing gift that the Mattaponi people had no obligation to give the world. I'm grateful to have been able to read it and highly recommend it. I knew that the Disney version of Pocahontas wasn't accurate, but I didn't know the true story as told by her people in this book. This is the story of Pocahontas that I will be sharing with my children. ...more
Douglas Fugate
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As the subtitle states, this is the "Other Side of History" as it is the Powhatan / Mattaponi side of events. This will acquaint you with tribal life, customs and behavior that is not found in any English or American history. Well worth the time to read. ...more
Aaron Roberts
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Pocahontas Story you never heard

Deeply resaerched and grounded in oral history, this Native perspective on Pocahontas's life and death is fascinating and enlightening. A must-read for those interested in the early colonial history of Virginia.
Dorina Surányi
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very clear and understandable language, full of useful and interesting information, easy to follow the chapters and everything is explained properly
Michelle Young
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read!!!

Anyone involved with the Disney movie Pocahontas should be ashamed after reading this. What a terrible short life she lived.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it did not like it
Not historical whatsoever, even from an ethnohistorical standpoint.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is written from the Native American perspective.
Apr 05, 2021 rated it liked it
My rating is not a reflection of the content, but the writing and writing style of the book. I feel that this could have been presented better.
Sep 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you for writing this! Many people are unaware of the other side of this story. Very well written and researched!
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Our Marginalized ...: Measure of Civilization 13 10 Oct 16, 2018 10:08AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Non-fiction about Pocohontas and her family [s] 4 290 May 18, 2015 07:11PM  

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