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The Mythology of North America Paperback – August 22, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


"A guidebook to the mythologies of the whole continent."--The New York Times Book Review

"Presents a systematic view of the entire corpus of North American mythology. Since no such overarching descriptive work has appeared in nearly seventy years, Bierhorst's book is timely, adding breadth to the knowledge of Native American narrative."--American Anthropologist

About the Author

John Bierhorst is the author, editor, or translator of more than thirty books on Native American lore-eight of which have been named Notable Books by the American Library Association.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195146239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195146233
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,545,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evan on January 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
I chose to read the Mythology of North America for my 8th grade independent reading project. I chose to read this book because I am very interested in ancient mythology. I personally think that this book was very interesting, however, the text of the story sounded too much like he was simply telling the stories rather than being written around the stories. One thing that I found fascinating is that the author showed how some of the Native American myths were similar to the myths in the U.S. and around the world then and now. The book was broken into many different parts relating to many specific places often two or three states at a time. This made it an easy book not only to read, but also to use as a reference book for facts. At the beginning of each chapter there was a one or two page maximum preface about the current chapter. Each region had a specific "topic". In the Northwest region that included part of Canada and Alaska, the basis for their myths was origins and creation stories. In the Southwest, a common theme was rebirth and reincarnation. One cool thing that I personally have not seen in other books was that there was a detailed map showing tribal locations and the locations of key stories. I found this impressive because you could see how some of the stories could be found on almost opposite sides of the country and based on the climate and the surrounding geography. This story is very organized moving north to south, west to east. In conclusion I found this book very well written and very interesting and I believe it is worth other people looking into this book and reading it.
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