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The Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries in Seventeenth-Century North America (Bedford Cultural Editions Series) First Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312167073
ISBN-10: 0312167075
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Jesuit Relations is among the most important scholarly sources for the study of early American history, and it's simply magic in the classroom. Greer's thoughtful translations and his concise, well-informed introduction do justice to these remarkable documents. The gripping, vivid selections from The Jesuit Relations will fully engage undergraduates, dissolve their stereotypes of both Indians and colonists, and allow them to gain a more nuanced view of life in early America."

"Once again, Allan Greer has found an engaging way to draw students closer to the cultural encounters occurring in northeastern North America during the early colonial period. His accessible translations of judiciously selected, generous samples from The Jesuit Relations will help ground fruitful class discussions ranging from native social organization to the mental worlds of Counter-Reformation clergymen."

About the Author

ALLAN GREER is professor of history and vice principal of University College at the University of Toronto. Author of The People of New France (1997); The Patriots and the People: The Rebellion of 1837 in Rural Lower Canada (1993); Peasant, Lord and Merchant: Rural Society in Three Quebec Parishes 1740-1840 (1985), he is also the recipient of the John Porter Prize, the Prix Lionel-Groulx, the Sir John A. MacDonald Prize, and the Allan Sharlin Prize. He is currently working on a book on the seventeenth-century Mohawk "saint" Kateri Tekakwitha.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; First Edition edition (February 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312167075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312167073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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