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Uncas: First of the Mohegans 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801472947
ISBN-10: 0801472946
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"This is a very impressive narrative account of the life of one of the most notable Mohegans. Michael Leroy Oberg demonstrates that it is possible to reconstruct in detail most facets of a Native American's life in the seventeenth century. Uncas: First of the Mohegans is paced well and its scenes are often vivid."-Peter C. Mancall, author of Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America and Valley of Opportunity: Economic Culture Along the Upper Susquehanna, 1700-1800 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Oberg (SUNY, Geneseo) covers all aspects of intertribal and Colonist-Indian relation and discusses military actions and horrible atrocities committed by both white and Native Americans. . . . Thoroughly researched in archival and ethnological sources, this book gives Uncas his due and clarifies trends in competing cultures. Summing up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections."―Choice Magazine, Dec. 2003

"Oberg has produced what should stand for some time as the definitive biography of Uncas, one that significantly advances our understanding of the sachem's life and of Anglo-Indian relations in seventeenth-century southern New England. He is especially effective in showing just how fluid indigenous political leadership and tributary relationships were and how Uncas and other Indian leaders capitalized on that fluidity. . . . Oberg has given us our fullest portrait of Uncas to date, together with a solid account of the historical context that shaped, and was shaped by, this remarkable sachem."―Neal Salisbury, Smith College, The New England Quarterly, December 2003.

"Unlike past writers, Michael Leroy Oberg avoids caricaturing Uncas and humanizes him. Because Uncas closely allied himself with the English yet managed to maintain a greater cultural gap between his people and the colonists than did many other leaders, he was unique. Yet if one had to choose an Indian whose life story could be used to present a microcosm of seventeenth-century New England, it would have to be Uncas."―James D. Drake, Metropolitan State College of Denver, William and Mary Quarterly, July 2004

"For his nicely nuanced and minutely detailed narrative, historians of native southern New England owe much to Michael Oberg."―William B. Hart, Middlebury College, The Journal of American History, June 2004

"The author looks at Uncas' relationship with both the English and the region's other tribes, particularly the Pequots and Narragansetts, both of whom rivaled the Mohegans for control of the area. The sachem's skillful cultivation and use of his allies, while keeping Mohegan interests at the forefront of his concerns, draws Oberg's praise."―Tom Wanamaker, Indian Country, Sept. 24, 2005

"Oberg has composed what is clearly the most comprehensive and strongest treatment of Uncas thus far. . . . The author has successfully employed the framework of ethnohistory to construct a balanced and contextualized interpretation of Uncas' life, something that has been heretofore elusive. The Uncas that emerges from Oberg's pages is neither a bronzed hero of English providence, nor a convenient straw man who can be battered in the name of white guilt over and justification for imperial conquests."―Akim D. Reinhardt, Towson University, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 5:2, 2004

"This is a very impressive narrative account of the life of one of the most notable Mohegans. Michael Leroy Oberg demonstrates that it is possible to reconstruct in detail most facets of a Native American's life in the seventeenth century. Uncas: First of the Mohegans is paced well and its scenes are often vivid."―Peter C. Mancall, author of Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America and Valley of Opportunity: Economic Culture Along the Upper Susquehanna, 1700-1800
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (March 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801472946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801472947
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on June 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Masquerading as a review of this fine and useful volume, the North Stonington contributor (above, or perhaps below) displays vast ignorance of not only the subject matter of "Uncas: First of the Mohegans" by Michael Leroy Oberg but also of national and world history as well. To gainsay his non-review tirade, this reviewer wishes to commend to other readers an opportunity to learn of the enormous complexity that occurs when contrasting and competing cultures meet and far too often clash, such as we are witnessing in our own day. The relationships that develop rarely serve either culture as long as Santanyana's warning goes unheeded. That modern day Mohegans even exist is itself a miracle: that the colonial European mentality of greed and resentment still abides in at least one North Stonington heart is dismaying, to say the least.
"Uncas" deserves a proper reading unsullied by prejudice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book did a good job of explaining Uncas's actions as the work of a political leader who was skillful at maintaining the independence of his people (at the expense of other Indian groups, often) by working with or against the English settlers, whichever was most useful to the Mohegans at the time.
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The book does not glorify Uncas, but was very truthful about his desire for power. It also however, shows how he protected his people and saved them from extinction. He did what he had to do. Thanks to him, we are still here and continue to grow.
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This book is a must for those who want to understand the history of Connecticut.
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By A Customer on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The overwhelming evidence Mr. Oberg presents of how the southern New England tribes repeatedly had to ask permission of the English before they could seek revenge against another tribe leads me to believe that these groups were not considered sovereign at that time at all.
It appeared that much of the tribes' time was taken up with going to Hartford or Boston to meet with the English leaders and ask for something. If they were sovereign nations that wouldn't have been necessary. This is heavily documented with footnotes as to sources.
Plus, he shows ample evidence that the Pequot War at Mystic was not the "white guys bash Indians" situation it is often portrayed as but was an extension of squabbles between the Pequots and the Mohegan and Narragansett tribes prior to the arrival of the English . Uncas egged on the English to attack his enemies.
So why do we grant federal recognition to their descendants today?
Mr. Oberg's book should be read by all Congressmen who are faced with granting federal recognition to "tribes". Perhaps the relation of other colonists to other tribes was similar and they were not considered nations either. Perhaps this reading of history will counter the 1970's mythical rewrite of Indian history too many are enamored of.
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