From Library Journal
Royal (Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center) takes issue with the "politically correct" image of rapacious Europeans coming into contact with idyllic Native Americans living at peace with their environment. He systematically rebuts some of the harsher charges aimed at Columbus, the role of Christian missionaries, and the values of Western civilization in general. While he does not condone the evils that occurred, the author vigorously argues against characterizing complex events in black-and-white terms and distorting the past to further a present political agenda. His work is a good choice for those libraries seeking a conservative view of a controversial issue. Royal would likely place Huyghe among those who "preemptively" slight Columbus by affirming earlier discoverers who "left few signs and almost no written records." Huyghe's work, a rehash of what evidence there is of pre-Columbian discovery, includes a good chapter on the arrival of the ancestors of present-day Native Americans. The book's value is diminished by the author's advocacy, along with such proven claims as early settlement by Norsemen, of claims that are either insubstantial (e.g., Japanese, Irish) or outright dubious (e.g., Roman, Chinese). Not recommended.- William F. Young, SUNY at Albany Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Robert Royal is the vice president for research of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.