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Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts Hardcover – May 25, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Richter's work stands among several others of note for this time period. Fred Anderson's "The Crucible of War" is another richly detailed and comprehensive account of some of the same period.Read more ›
The author draws many parallels between North Americans and European developments during the Medieval Warm Period. While Europeans were building magnificent cathedrals, the indigenous Americans were busy constructing huge mounds for burials and other religious rituals. And on both continents, a pyramidal caste structure emerged to enrich and enthrone the most successful thugs and warlords. This is the true origin of all who claim royalty. Similarly, the origins of capitalism, and patriarchal entitlements are shown to be a consequence of English and European fiefdoms.
Professor Richter's wonderfully concise condensation of centuries of interaction between competing parties is both a blessing and a curse. Each chapter is filled with so many points worthy of contemplation that I was routinely frustrated by the pressure to continue on without pause. Thankfully, he provides a superb epilogue to sum up many of the points that might occur to the reader along the way. For instance, he points out that the Native Americans were by no means passive victims of European aggression, land theft, and racism. Indeed, they had become skilled in the process of playing one European super-power against the other, to increase their own power and dominate their traditional foes.Read more ›
His interpretive goals however do not seem fully achieved. His aim is to describe several eras of colonization and interaction thematically, and he labels them, successively, as those of Progenitors, Conquistadors, Traders, Planters, Imperialists, and Atlanteans; and he further attempts to demonstrate how each of the latter eras manifested the themes of those preceding it. So he is attempting an interpretation that is somewhat at odds with itself -- delineating separate eras in colonial history, but also arguing that the dominant themes of preceding eras were always manifest. Neither goal is completely achieved: Not every of his eras in colonial history seems so distinct, and the connections Richter purports to draw often come across as more his own personal view than truly evidence-based.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent analysis, compelling arguments, and fascinating vignettes paint a picture of colonial America.Published 10 months ago by Nick Cavaioli
Very readable history of the settlement of the North America (mostly U.S.). The book covers the relationship between Native American tribes and the differences between that and the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by M. Yates
Along with Alan Taylor's American Colonies, this is the best one volume history of colonial America, broadly conceived.Published 24 months ago by History Reader
This is a case in which Kindle was not a friend of the writer. The Kindle version excluded all pictures and caused what could have been a very good experience into a ok experience. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by parallel
Read it...excellent and one more nail in understanding the recent history of this little piece of turf we call America. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by B. R. Muldoon
I wanted to really like this book. It covers an interesting period in North American history. The author is clearly knowledgeable and passionate about his subject. Read morePublished on August 21, 2012 by M. Keenan