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David E. Stannard
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American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  486 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
For four hundred years--from the first Spanish assaults against the Arawak people of Hispaniola in the 1490s to the U.S. Army's massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in the 1890s--the indigenous inhabitants of North and South America endured an unending firestorm of violence. During that time the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as 100 mi ...more
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Published September 1st 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published 1992)
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Simon Wood
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE HOLOCAUST IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

David Stannard's "American Holocaust", aptly published during the ahistorical hoo-hah that marked the 500th year since Columbus "discovered" the Americas, takes as its subject the genocidal destruction of the Native Americans in north, south and central America in the aftermath of the western European invasion.

The book is split into three parts, the first and shortest of which provides remarkable insight into the great variety of indigenous peoples that po
...more
IAMLEGION
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't know how I could possible express in a few words, this books effect on me. It's a not like any holocaust that ever happened since. You won't find this in your high school history books, because it's too gruesome.
Kim
Mar 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like the truth, and people who like being sad.
The definitive review of what really occurred in the Americas before and after Columbus set sail. This book will point you towards the truth, but it will also make you extremely depressed. The author does not hold back when describing the horrific acts of torture and flat out slaughter that took place. There are some "good" bits too-- a nice portion of stuff about Bartolomé de Las Casas.
Theophilus (Theo)
The tale of not just who discovered and conquered America, but how they did it. A story of extreme violence, genocide, and biological warfare perpetretated against people because they occupied a land the Europeans wanted. Tons of references and some lithographs of the conquerers in action. Letters from witnesses. Not for the squeamish.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I read this years ago when it first came out. It was an eye-opener! I had no idea that disease wiped out so much of the native American population before Jamestown was settled and the Pilgrims arrived. I own a copy and always recommend it to friends who are interested in history.
Cian
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A far reaching codex permeated with a means of humane thinking and rationale that shall one day serve as a bedrock for ancient and enduring knowledge regarding the human condition. An excellent and essential read for anyone wishing to better understand the preconditions, execution and perpetual extension of racist, dehumanizing and ultimately genocidal motivations.

What this book is: A thorough case study in the heinous rage of the human condition. An astute analysis of the greatest holocaust of
...more
Chris Neumann
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will open your eyes to the atrocities done to Native Americans from 1492 to the present. The conquerers of North and South America brutally carried out genocide on the native people in the name of God and the search for gold. In the course of five hundred years, 95 percent of the Native American population was dead (over 100 million people mudered). Every school should have to teach this book to children alonside with the first Thanksgiving to give some much needed perspective. I wasn' ...more
jeanette
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yeah - reading the TRUTH in print
John
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I wonder if there is any humanity in us humans.
Matthew Griffiths
A sobering account of the massive destruction of life that took place in the wake of Columbus' discovery of the Americas. This book offers an important insight into the way in which European contact with American Indian's was almost inevitably doomed to end in massive loss of life for the Americans. Of particular interest were the segments that discussed the development of the religious-racial justification for the slaughter of Indians and Jews in Europe and the placing of this ideological devel ...more
Anthony Peter
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heady, heavy, eye-opening stuff. Stannard presents his case that 'it is impossible to know what transpired in the Americas during the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries and not conclude that it was genocide'. And in this respect, the chief culprits he identifies are the Spanish in South and Central America, and the English/British and post-1776 non-native Americans. This is not I view I have ever seriously doubted, but the presentation of the evidence is daunting, drain ...more
Sathyanarayanan D
How do we test a religion within the framework of modern standards of Public morality and decency? The word modern is indeed used here after a serious thought. The word modern can only be tested relatively, as there are no objective standards to test it rationally. People as members of an organized religion called Christianity have committed genocides of unthinkable proportions. But such a fact is not often discussed. When a missionary talks about virtues of Christianity to convert a non-believe ...more
Andre
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this as an audio book on YouTube, however the narrator was so damn slow that I stopped und read it myself.

Save to say that this book would piss a lot of people off, since calling the fate of the Native Americans' genocide (or better several genocides) is something not many people want to hear, for various reasons.
And it is fascinating what some of the cherished founding fathers of the USA wrote on the matter. The author quite plainly wrote: Indeed Jefferson's writings on Indians are f
...more
Hillary
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The same year this book was published, I was a fourth grader participating in a school musical in honor of the Columbian Quincentennial. I was taught many myths, and they were reinforced until they were finally corrected when I was a college student. According to the songs we sang, Columbus was determined to prove the world was round, was not motivated by greed, was friendly toward the natives he encountered, escorted Indians back to Spain with their enthusiastic cooperation, and “discovered a n ...more
Ramiro Guerra
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that took a long time to finish.

The beginning of the story is the most heartbreaking, simply because we learn about the great societies that inhabited the land of the USA before it became the USA. The author weaves beautiful visuals of the Aztec's, Cherokee, Inuit's, and countless other nations that existed before being "invaded". I stopped several times reading the descriptions of the cities and towns and villages to imagine how beautiful it was. And then I had to mentally prepare myself
...more
Victor
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A devastating read. Stannard documents the destruction of the Western Hemisphere's native population, and it is horrifying. He shows that Native Americans did not "vanish" without cause; they were eradicated by European diseases and by planned genocide. "The destruction of the Indians of the Americas," writes Stannard. "was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world." Citing primary documents from early Europeans, Stannard lays out a narrative drenched in blood, ...more
Adam Ross
This book was intense. Arguing that the conquest of the new world was nothing less than a genocidal assault upon an entire continent (an assault that left nearly 100 million dead), Stannard's book pulls no punches nor spares any details. The gruesome, harrowing tale of four centuries of death, murder, rape, and wholesale slaughter is meticulously documented page by page, so much so that I couldn't read more than a few pages at a time without being overwhelmed by sheer horror of what happened. Th ...more
Linn
Words cannot begin to describe how much I loved especially the first part of this book. I've always been interested in the hidden history, the history that the victors, as it were, has spent a lot of energy trying to erase, and I don't think it was until I read this book that I fully realized how much about the history of the Americas I'm ignorant of.

The history of the systematic racism and genocide of the Americas really does shed a light on Europe as a whole. There were times when I had to put
...more
Robert Kirkconnell
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 14916219
A wealth of information about what was in the Americas and what happened to the people, land, and culture. First hand accounts of the beautiful cities, food production, and lack of violence that made up a culture which was far advanced of anything in Europe. Add to this, facts such as there were over 100 million people in the Americas and that they had been here for over 40 thousand years. Stannard documents that this was a genocide that far exceeded anything else in history, before or since.

Rob
...more
John
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to express my love for this book and yet my revulsion for the content of which it speaks. Forced myself to reread prior to Indigenous People's Day - an annual commitment to the atrocities represented by the second Monday in October.

This book is for those who feel that Standing Rock is about oil, or who yawn when people protest the names of the Washington and Cleveland sports teams. Have you even heard of Grassy Narrows ?

The advent of the continuing marginalisation and pauperisation of First
...more
Timoumi Tarik
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very informative book. Shows how thé destruction of thé native American was premeditated. gives à good amount of détails about the genocide. replacés those events in thé context, explaining how it links with the irish conquest and massacres by the english and with the crusades. one can be disappointed however by the relative lack of account about thé chronoligical events, i.e. the battles,war and so on but it's not the topic of the book. If one wants to learn in details about the native American ...more
Mike
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only a history of holocaust in North and South America, but the psychology of it as well. The author presents his research as a corrective to the history books. Yes, we may be dimly aware of the disease and violence that swept away indigenous populations, but not the scope and scale of the genocide. This was a consciousness raising book. Now when I pass those acorn grinding holes on the way down to the Middle Fork of the American River, I will now have to make myself remember that the old Sa ...more
Brian Andersen
A powerful and sobering analysis of the racism and violence that led to the near extinction of the Indian population from the Americas. The author provides context and data that makes one shudder in horror. It is at times unrelentless with facts and figures but necesarry as well in order to fully show the magnitude of what was really a religious war to ethnically cleanse two continents of its indigenous people.
Marissa
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a disturbing book about the so-called "discovery" of the Americas. Stannard is providing information about Columbus, Cortes, and the other explorers of the late 1400s and early 1500s that is not covered in general American history courses. It is terrible to read about the horrors some explorers inflicted upon the Natives, but it is a valuable experience to do so.
David Lucander
If the first chapter of Zinn's "People's History" hit you, check out this extended meditation on race, sexuality, Christianity, and genocide. There's a lot of dead bodies in these pages, but Stannard has a few moments of interpretive insight to make it more than a recounting of hacker slasher bloodbaths.
Simon
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is certainly an interesting and informative account of genocide in the Americas, but I'm not entirely convinced by the main argument. The spirit of advocacy works against the author's argument in this case. Also, the figures cited are not that reliable. Estimates should always be cited as estimates, not established facts.
Emily
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for content. It was thoroughly researched and obviously a very important subject matter. The writing was a bit dry, and I think a bit repetitive. He continued long after he'd already made his point. But it's definitely a more academic oriented book.
Amber
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Very dry but packed full of information. It put a different spin on the conquest of the America's and pulled apart the standard textbook idea that disease was the biggest factor on the huge amount of native american deaths.
Allyson
This is a most excellent, comprehensive book on the subject....it is a mentally tough read because of the details necessary to explain the true horror of what has happened to an entire race of people.
Bill
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read book that discusses one of histories great crimes that gets little recognition or attention from the general public.
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“The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world. That is why, as one historian aptly has said, far from the heroic and romantic heraldry that customarily is used to symbolize the European settlement of the Americas, the emblem most congruent with reality would be a pyramid of skulls.” 3 likes
“The European habit of indiscriminately killing women and children when engaged in hostilities with the natives of the Americas was more than an atrocity. It was flatly and intentionally genocidal. For no population can survive if its women and children are destroyed.” 0 likes
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