Indian Givers

Indian Givers

How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World

Book - 1988
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Random House, Inc.
"As entertaining as it is thoughtful....Few contemporary writers have Weatherford's talent for making the deep sweep of history seem vital and immediate."
After 500 years, the world's huge debt to the wisdom of the Indians of the Americas has finally been explored in all its vivid drama by anthropologist Jack Weatherford. He traces the crucial contributions made by the Indians to our federal system of government, our democratic institutions, modern medicine, agriculture, architecture, and ecology, and in this astonishing, ground-breaking book takes a giant step toward recovering a true American history.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Baker & Taylor
Charts the wide-ranging and lasting impact of Native American culture on American and European society, in areas ranging from agriculture and medicine to religion, fashion, and economics

Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c1988.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780517569696
Branch Call Number: 970.004 WEA
Characteristics: x, 272 p. ; 23 cm.


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Oct 30, 2017

I was afraid this book was going to be dry, but instead I found it hard to put down. Almost thirty years after this edition came out, twenty-first century readers probably won't be too surprised that chocolate and vanilla came from the Americas. However, it's probably still not common knowledge that quinine, the cure for malaria, and aspirin originated here as well. More surprising is that Native Americans, particularly the Iroquois, inspired the political and social philosophies of both Thomas More ("Utopia") and Karl Marx; in fact, the federalism essential to our American system of government is directly inspired by Native American governance, via both Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin.

With the exception of the chapter on Urban Planning, this was a fascinating read.


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