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Publisher's Summary

In the first volume in the Penguin History of the United States series, edited by Eric Foner, Alan Taylor challenges the traditional story of colonial history by examining the many cultures that helped make America, from the native inhabitants from millennia past through the decades of Western colonization and conquest and across the entire continent, all the way to the Pacific coast.

Transcending the usual Anglocentric version of our colonial past, he recovers the importance of Native American tribes, African slaves, and the rival empires of France, Spain, the Netherlands, and even Russia in the colonization of North America. Moving beyond the Atlantic seaboard to examine the entire continent, American Colonies reveals a pivotal period in the global interaction of peoples, cultures, plants, animals, and microbes. In a vivid narrative, Taylor draws upon cutting-edge scholarship to create a timely picture of the colonial world characterized by an interplay of freedom and slavery, opportunity and loss.

©2001 Alan Taylor (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A] work of history colored by our age of diversity." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent overview of the colonies

This book was assigned for a college class. I really enjoyed listening to it on audible and the narrators voice was very pleasant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Learned a lot about American colonies

Great book about settling America. Includes everything from New England to Hawaii. Very interesting , well written and well read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent history, boring title!

Don't let the title fool you, this an excellent and comprehensive modern take on early American history. Those scope is by intent broad in its multinational and multicultural view of American "colonies," that takes the reader beyond the boundaries of the usual tale to speak of the Caribbean, Canada, and Hawaii and a wide variety of participants from a spectrum of Native American tribes and European colonizers, such as Spain, France, Russia, England and the Netherlands. Interesting thesis. Professionally read.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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great book

i Purchased this audiobook to help with a college course. couldn't have been more pleased. it was very helpful and I found myself sitting in my driveway times waiting for the chapter to end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great!

Very informative with impeccable diversity in information! Also, the narration was easy to follow... I recommend this audiobook!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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History at its most meaningful.

Unlike most historical accountings, Taylor emphasizes the interconnections; offering critical political insights from multiple perspectives.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Book

Of all the historical books I've read, this was probably one of the best. I think it should be a must read in our schools. I thought it was a very honest, unbiased book. Totally enjoyed it.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A fascinating story

A comprehensive and ungloryfied overview of the roles of all the players in the European colonization of North America. An emphasis is place on the impact of the colonization on the native people of North America. A fascinating and poignant story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent ..

A real history of the pre-revolution American colonies and more. Love the way Taylor includes the impact that the native Americans had on the settlement of America. It is somewhat of an awakening, even for a long time reader of histories, to understand how diverse were the natives from area to area. It was also interesting to hear how the politics of the time influenced the various tribes. Each was at one time or another an enemy, a customer, a trading partner and at war and at peace with the British, French, Spanish, Russians, Dutch and Colonists. Taylor takes care to point out how the introduction of European goods and the reintroduction of the horse changed every tribe from generation to generation. Since I grew up in the heart of Iroquois country, I found this all to be quite personal in that I could relate to the setting in which the Seneca and Cayuga tribes existed. I know intimately the exact streams and lakes of their towns and I could therefore imagine the daily routine of the people. For those who read this book, I suggest that you get in touch with the native history of your local. Taylor includes the natives from South America all the way to the Arctic. In this respect, this is a very unique history.

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Great Historian and Reader

Alan Taylor is a great historian, with a balanced fresh approach that shows true wisdom in his books, definitely worth it.