Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Great Place to Start
on August 11, 2010
I had to use this book for an anthropology course in college and I didn't even think about selling it back. This is much more of an anthropology book - a study of Native American Culture - than it is a history. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of history in here, ranging from the earliest encounters with Europeans to present day political and archaeological studies; but it's primarily concerned with the cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America. When I say North America I mean from Northern Mexico to the Arctic Circle. Don't buy this book if you're looking for information on the Mayans or Mexica (Aztec).
The author breaks the book down into sections based off of loose cultural/geographic divisions, ie Southeast, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, etc. Within those sections you will find information on tribal structure, family structure (were they patrilineal, matrilineal, etc?) and lots of other information. There's a chapter devoted specifically to white/indian contact, and another general chapter for general information outside of the specific peoples. This helps to bring the whole book together. Highly recommended.