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Native America: A History Paperback – February 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1405160575 ISBN-10: 1405160578 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405160578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405160575
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Few areas of scholarship have changed as rapidly as the field of Native American history. Michael Oberg's eloquent new textbook, drawn from his sure command of a vast literature, distills the most important developments in the field and should find a place in every course focused on the history of America's indigenous peoples.”
—Peter C. Mancall, University of Southern California

“Oberg's work presents a readable narrative history of American Indian nations and their history in what became and is the United States. Written around issues that faced American Indians and following the individual chronologies of specific groups in different regions, it provides a text that communicates the breadth and complexity of American Indian history to students in a way that no other text achieves."
—Carol Higham, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

From the Back Cover

Offering an important variation to existing studies, Native America: A Brief History places the lives and experiences of native communities at the center of the narrative. Chronologically organized and covering the period of first contact to the present day, Oberg focuses on 11 native communities in all parts of the United States, including the Mohegans, the Cherokee, the Powhatans, the Dakota Sioux, and the Pueblos, whose experiences encapsulate the principal themes and developments in Native American history. He describes the complex relationships they maintained with the colonial powers and, later, the United States and provides readers with an insight into the enormous diversity and varied experiences of Native Americans.

Written in a highly accessible style, Oberg provides an engaging and concise text that remains focused on Indian peoples and emphasizes their importance in the history of the United States.

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Hami on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oberg's Native America: A History is a good view on the history of this people, but that is all it is. I read this book for an online class at the same University Oberg teaches and have to say enjoyed the book and its commitment to accuracy. Oberg's book is at the same time very readable and immensely frustrating. He takes immense effort to explain the origins of Native people, and their myths, religions, and interactions with Europeans. Obviously there was no United States of Indians, or really a central structure between all tribes/Indian Nations, so Oberg's history studies seven or eight Indian Nations, from the Iroquois League and Algonquians to the Seminoles and Cherokees. Despite a very readable history up to the late 19th century, Oberg does an awful job at really addressing Native-American affairs in the 20th century. We get a relatively short glimpse of Native-American legal successes during WWII and their efforts in the Civil Rights era. Yet, this last third of this history is simply rushed, abbreviated to a fault, and at its worst truly sophomoric.

However, the biggest shortcoming of this book is the relative absence of maps. Considering the tribes Oberg considers and the movement or displacement of these Native people and the wars they engage in, one would expect the book to be rich with maps tracing these events. In the 400pages of the book, I recall only seeing a dozen or so maps, and that for a history textbook is absolutely insufficient. This book is a good text if combined with a class that offers more information and is able to cover the 20th century history more appropriately. However, for a self-guided education, I would not recommend this text. However, if one is adamant to read Oberg's book I would combine it with "Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee" by Paul Chaat Smith and Robert Allen Warrior which is a wonderful book on the Native-American movement in the 1960's.
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