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Cathy Robbins Thinking Aloud

After 1491, What do we do for American Indians?

March 6, 2013

Tags: American Indians, Native Americans, 1491, Charles Mann


So what can we do for American Indians? I often hear that question. Most recently, it came up during a book club consideration of Charles Mann’s 1491, which was published in 2005. Mann gave readers an eye-popping look at indigenous peoples in the Americas before the Europeans started streaming in. He reported on archaeological and historical records that portrayed a hemisphere teeming with people of diverse cultures. Some, like the Aztecs, were highly-structured societies, with classes, hierarchies and enormous wealth. Others, for instance in the New England area, were more “democratic,” with decision-making spread among all levels. (more…)