Customer Reviews: The Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century North America (Bedford Cultural Editions Series)
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on April 27, 2004
If you are student of Native American studies or just interested at all in the early contact of Indians with Europeans this book is perfect. Surprisingly interesting and very helpful in fleshing out an oft shaded part of American/Canadian history. This offers a wonderful though slightly tainted point of view on the customs of specific Indian tribes. My favourite section has to be the writing if father Paul Le Jeune on the non-sedentary tribe of the Montagnaise. Greer's editing is great especially for the non-academic reader (I've read some of the unabridged version which was slightly painful) Maybe I'm just a nerd but I think this book would be entertaining even for those with less than scholarly knowledge on the subject.
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on May 18, 2010
Any one curious about Indian life must read Jesuit descriptions of their lives among the Indians. The Jesuit priests were missionaries who lived with the Indians in their villages in the 1600s, learned their languages, recorded their culture in great detail, and clearly loved and cared for the native peoples even though naturally repelled by a few of their customs. This 211-page abridgement is fascinating, and includes nice maps and drawings from the period. I found myself wishing it was longer.
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on April 30, 2012
Greer's succinct version of the Jesuit Relations is an enjoyable and educational look into French and Indian relations in early Canada. His selection of pieces is insightful and covers a broad scope of information. Highly recommend for students and scholars of Indian or Canadian history.
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on January 12, 2015
I guess I was just hoping for more of the real thing. The original "Jesuit Relations" was a hefty book full of all of the letters and writings of the Jesuit Missionaries who were really forming north America. This book is so tiny and only has excerpts from the real book. Does anyone know where I can find the original Jesuit Relations? I've even asked monks and nuns who live in monasteries known for their extensive catholic libraries and they've never even heard of it! Allan Greer did do a great job of this, in giving a brief account of it all. It's just a shame that such an important part of American history and such important sacrifices as these missionaries made should fall into such obscurity.
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on July 12, 2013
The jesuit Relations was an annual periodical reporting the events of missionary endeavors
that stretched from Acadia on the North Atlantic all the way to the middle of the continent,
to Lake Winnepeg, and even beyond to the Rocky Mountains, long before the famed explorations
of Lewis and Clark.

About the only criticism I would make is that the jesuit missions in Baja California are not
included, though they were certainly in North America.
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on November 27, 2012
This book offers an interesting perspective on Native American life not often found in textbooks. Because the United States was heir to English law, philosophy, and thought-patterns, we often forget that other countries also played a part. This book shows how American Indians were seen from a French-Catholic perspective.
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on June 23, 2015
Good source if you are interested in early French Canada & native Americans. The Jesuit missionaries were educated observers & lived w the the native people they sought to convert. They learned the language & made precient observations of the governing & culture of the people.
It is a well edited book & give one access to original sources that only scholars usually see.
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on December 22, 2015
As a believer I always look forward to reading historic accounts of any people group’s first encounter with the Gospel. I am always in awe at the faith and dedication of missionaries who said no to human sacrifice and cannibalism. It takes a very special person to deliver the Gospel to a people who just might kill you, eat you and think they did an honorable thing.

Read Mr. Greer’s commentary, but keep his perspective in mind. Unlike the missionaries, Mr. Greer’s perspective is apparently non-Christian and ethnographic in nature. It’s pretty obvious that Mr. Greer does not believe in the Great Commission which was central to the Jesuit effort. I am always confused by authors who write about topics that they seem to seem to have no heart for.

Overall it seems like a good collection of selected portions of the Jesuit Relations that gives one a broad and brief view of Jesuit Missionary Great Commission efforts in early Canada. It’s a quick read and interesting read and well worth the price.
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on December 11, 2014
This is a great book about which I would warn readers to skip the first 22 pages where the publisher decided to tell the reader what to think. It is unfortunate that the space in this short document has to be wasted on erudition regarding our ability to discern history.
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on October 24, 2013
Nice brief descriptions of Native American life. Easy to read, left me wanting more. Descriptive writing takes you back in time, hear and see the dances and feasts.
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