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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1989 Jack Weatherford (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"By showing how the world was changed through these contributions, the author gives a greater appreciation of the Indians of America to readers. A fine synthesis book for global studies programs as well as American history." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lou
  • Breckenridge, CO, United States
  • 09-26-11

Eye Opening...

This is a very interesting book. It covers a wide range of topics on how early inhabitants from South and North America were instrumental in unlocking the treasures of the New World long before Europeans discovered and then exploited these peoples, reaping untold richest/benefits while virtually exterminating the benefactors without giving them even the slightest credit. One small example is the author makes a compelling case that the US democracy was in a significant way modeled after the native american values of personal freedom and tribal methods of governance...fascinating stuff!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

If you desire to connect the dots from then to now

then you should read this book. So much of what we are experiencing today has its roots in the experience, wisdom and ultimately the genocide of Native Americans. So many of best ideas in the modern world came from them. And while this book is filled with facts, figures and historical information... it was so interesting that I stayed up late listening. Of course, I think Victor Bevine could read a Dell Technical manual and I would find it engaging lol. Do yourself a favor... this one is worth your time.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • steve
  • kearny, NJ, United States
  • 12-27-12

Powerful!

This is definitely a great book and the writer goes with a great angle too. We always hear about the rape and death of the Indians so, it’s a nice change up to hear about their legacy and about all of the products, foods/spices and names that they have given us. It’s definitely a positive spin from their perspective. The ending and the closing lines are also outstanding!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 10-07-12

A new look at history

Jack Weatherford always has some interesting insights to event of history and anthropology. In this book each chapter demonstrates the influence the natives of the Americas had on the rest of the world. From gold and silver to government, architecture, to food plant and medicinal plants. It is an amazing list of fact he gives particularly in the influence of the forming of the United States government. Victor Bevins did a good job narrating the story. If you want a fresh and different view of the Native Americans read this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 03-29-12

A great listen for anyone in the Americas

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend this book to everyone. I recommend this book to my students in Mediterranean history so that they learn how many of the things they misattribute to the Greeks and Romans are in fact Native American contributions to world culture. I recommend this book to those who love cooking and eating. There's a lot of folklore about which staple foods today originated in the Americas. This book does a good job of giving an overview. And I recommend the book to anyone who just loves to be wowed by stories of real travel, and real people today interwoven with a historical perspective.

Any additional comments?

On a few (rare) occasions, the narrator mispronounces some words in European languages. This didn't detract from the listen for me, but I did notice.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Eye Opening...

This is a very interesting book. It covers a wide range of topics on how early inhabitants from South and North America were instrumental in unlocking the treasures of the New World long before Europeans discovered and then exploited these peoples, reaping untold richest/benefits while virtually exterminating the benefactors without giving them even the slightest credit. One small example is the author makes a compelling case that the US democracy was in a significant way modeled after the native american values of personal freedom and tribal methods of governance...fascinating stuff!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Melody
  • Tipp City, OH, United States
  • 04-16-10

Excellent!!

I have listened to 3 of Jack Weatherford's book, and have enjoyed them all. I would recommend his books to anyone!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

well worth the listen

What did you love best about Indian Givers?

Except for the first two chapters, the book contained a lot of new and interesting information about the Americas. (I almost stopped listening before Chapter 3.)<br/><br/>This book seems to have been a major source of information & insight for the book 1493, but 1493 mellows out the polemic against European conquerors and adds some insight and information to this work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Yamhill, OR, United States
  • 06-03-10

All things Jack Weatherford

This fellow does not write bad books. In fact, it seems, he only writes great books. Anytime you want a truly worthwhile revisionist history and you want a great narration thrown in, just pickup a Jack Weatherford book on Audible... yes, sounds like a commercial. But it's all true. Who knew those "savages" contributed so much.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 06-21-10

Wow! What an impact our Native Americans had.

This gives another and very positive perspective to what our Native Americans gave to the rest of the world. Read Bury My Heart at Wounde Knee to see how they were treated in return.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful