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The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  45 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 3.86  · 
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 ·  230 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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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
...more
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
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
...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.
Adrienne S.
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.
Kara
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
...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.
Sanaya
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
...more
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
...more
R J
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History is written from the
Powhatan view point and comparing the Pocahontas story to the customs of their tribe. It’s safe to say Disney got it wrong. 😊
The style of writing was not in keeping with the classical European flow. Rather it was more like a narrator repeating information to emphasize a point.
The author points out how John Smith embellished his stories and often changed his accounts years later. A man returning from doing trade with the
...more
Jennifer
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
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
Emma Clement
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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.
Velia
I loved this story. I read a little about Pocahontas in another book, Do All Indians Live in Tipis?: Questions and Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian, and I got curious about her and her real story. I do remember the Disney movie a little bit and I remember some of her story from my U. S. History class when I was in high school. However, this book offered a different perspective and that is the primary reason why I picked this book.

The writing style isn't good and it does ta
...more
Laurie
Dec 23, 2009 rated it liked it
poor writing, good premise.

From Amazon:
Product Description
The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History incorporates the sacred oral history of the Mattaponi that has been passed down to Lin "Little Bear" since his childhood, by his father, the late Mattaponi Chief Webster "Little Eagle" Custalow; his uncle, the late Mattaponi Chief O. T. Custalow; and grandfather, the late Mattaponi Chief George F. Custalow; and those that came before. The Mattaponi Indian Tribe, along with the Pamunk
...more
Christina Noll
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book tells the oral history of Pocahontas from her Native people. It is much darker than the colonists’ version of history, with alleged rape and murder of both Pocahontas in England and her first husband, Kocoum at the time of her capture. Also according to the book it is unlikely she ever saved John Smith during a ceremony in which her people planned to kill him since children as she was at the time were not permitted to be present at ceremonies. Some scholars today even doubt the saving ...more
Crystal
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
Melissa Benson
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs
Recommended to Melissa Benson by: Melanie
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. The author was hostile about the English version, but I felt that was very understandable. Should definitly be older teens because it does talk about Pocahontas's rape and other things best not read by young children. I really enjoyed was the depiction of the beliefs and customs of the native americans. There was g ...more
Devika Koppikar
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent! This book puts forth the idea that Native Americans did not easily get swayed away by European settlers. In fact, according to this book, Pocahontas was kidnapped from her (Native American) husband and child, and forced to wed a white man and convert to Christianity. My only skepticism about this book was when the author touted how in native societies such as this, no one got raped or stole from anyone. I find that hard to believe, especially when stated by a man. Nevertheless, it was ...more
Coartney
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about this story from a different perspective however, I found the writing very redundant at times and that took away from the actual story. I would recommend reading this book though because it does offer such an opposing narrative to the one we were taught from history books. You definitely develop a different insight to this young woman's life and what she and her tribe went through.
Mikaela
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wellington-east
I really enjoyed this book however it is a shame that I had to read it for a History assignment in which I had to critique the reliability etc of the book and the authors. Had I just read it for pleasure, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Great book, convincing, and tells what seems to be the truth. Great first book to further my knowledge of Native American history which I love.
Potomacwill
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Everyone familiar with the Disney version of the Pocahontas story or the account usually presented in text books should read this account. It will cause readers to cast a more critical eye on the received view.
Louise Drummond
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Native oral history that tells the story of Pocahontas from the Powhatan point of view. An incredibly worthwhile read, and makes a whole lot more sense than the widely-known version of the story. Contains a lot more tragedy than the whitewashed version.
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