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The Head in Edward Nugent's Hand: Roanoke's Forgotten Indians (Early American Studies) Hardcover – October 3, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Oberg's] short, extremely readable work weaves together analyses of developments, causes, and effects with detailed views of the Native and English communities, cultures, leading personalities, and significant events, including their encounters along the Carolina coast. Oberg ends, fittingly and impressively, by tracing the surviving coastal Carolina Indian communities from the seventeenth into the twentieth century. This is an excellent book for U.S. history survey classes. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice



"Michael Oberg sheds new light on one of the great stories in early American history. . . . He has tried to reconstruct the history of Roanoke not only from the view of colonists, who left all of the written records, but also from the view of the Native peoples of the region. The narrative is briskly paced and the research is thorough."—Peter C. Mancall, author of Hakluyt's Promise: An Elizabethan's Obsession for an English America

About the Author

Michael Leroy Oberg is SUNY Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Geneseo and the author of Professional Indian: The American Odyssey of Eleazer Williams, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Early American Studies
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press; Reprint edition (October 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812240316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812240313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,278,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Professor Oberg has written an excellent book on the death of Wingina by one of the early English explorers to Roanoke and the long-range impact of that murder. The material is well-researched and presented, with few things to find fault in this edition. There is no bibliography and the author's "Acknowledgements" section is more suitable as a "Preface" to the whole book. Some proper names are confused in the text, i.e., Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh are interchanged; as is the Algonquin Indian taken to England, who is re-named Ralegh or Raleigh. The Index is incomplete; it lacks many names of individuals listed in the narrative. The author includes too many summaries throughout, and some of the Indian weroance leaders are introduced so early and briefly in the text, that when they are mentioned a few hundred pages later, the reader is left without continuity.

Nevertheless, Professor Oberg's story of Edward Nugent's murder of King Wingina is well told, but it gets lost in the last chapter with his digression into the many theories of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. He dismisses out-of-hand the so-called "Dare Stones," and gives a left-handed compliment to the Paul Green outdoor drama, "The Lost Colony."

But, those things aside, the book fills a large gap in most Early American history texts, by giving the reader a full discussion of the Indians (especially the key role played by Manteo) and a key event, the murder of King Wingina, which affected Indian-English relations for generations to come.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this for my North Carolina Indians class. While I haven't actually taken the class yet, I'm looking forward to it because of this and the other texts the professor assigned. The author's attempt to recreate an Algonquian's point of view of the first true English attempts at settlement around Roanoke Island in the 1580s seems to prove successful. His analysis of the Algonquian gods Ahone and Kiwasa, the Indians attempts to please Kiwasa with Montoac, and subsequent attempts to integrate English Christianity into this system was especially fascinating and illuminating. Of course, due to the scarcity of documents from the period, much of the book is based on speculation and relating the Roanoke Indian's practices to neighboring ones such as the Powhatans. Despite this hurdle, the book is very interesting and makes logical sense, at least from my perspective as a student.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book focuses on the viewpoint of the Algonquian natives of coastal North Carolina in the 1580s as they attempt to adapt their lives to the rapid change brought upon them by English settlement on Roanoke Island. Drought, disease, and, eventually, violent attack by the settlement's paranoid soldiers destroy their system of subsistance survival and harmony with nature and a spiritual world. Other books about the Roanoke settlements are written from the Englishmen's point of view. Oberg's book, cleanly and intelligently narrated, is unique in its perspective. Oberg's thoughtful conjectures are based upon extensive research. 5 stars for the reader who needs to understand fully specific historical events.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an easy read and was assigned in my Colonial America history class. The author over reaches a little as he provides information on the natives based upon what we know about other tribes. What he has done in this instant is make an assumption that just because one tribe did things a certain way it is logical that other tribes in the area were the same. Although many tribes do share similar traits they are not the same & should not be generalized as such. All in all it is a good book.
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