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Publisher's Summary

In The Native Ground, Kathleen DuVal argues that it was Indians rather than European would-be colonizers who were more often able to determine the form and content of the relations between the two groups. Along the banks of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers, far from Paris, Madrid, and London, European colonialism met neither accommodation nor resistance but incorporation. Rather than being colonized, Indians drew European empires into local patterns of land and resource allocation, sustenance, goods exchange, gender relations, diplomacy, and warfare. 

Placing Indians at the center of the story, DuVal shows both their diversity and our contemporary tendency to exaggerate the influence of Europeans in places far from their centers of power. Europeans were often more dependent on Indians than Indians were on them.

Drawing on archaeology and oral history, as well as documents in English, French, and Spanish, DuVal chronicles the successive migrations of Indians and Europeans to the area from precolonial times through the 1820s. These myriad native groups - Mississippians, Quapaws, Osages, Chickasaws, Caddos, and Cherokees - and the waves of Europeans all competed with one another for control of the region.

The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks. 

"Groundbreaking.... A work of immense significance." (Journal of the Early Republic)

"All specialists in early American and Native American history should read this book because of what it has to say about the 'Native Ground' in general." (American Historical Review)

"The best history yet of the Arkansas River valley and its peoples." (Journal of American History)

©2006 University of Pennsylvania Press (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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Muddled message

Judging by the summary and my own outside research of the author, I believe the intention of the book was to confer respect upon native peoples by detailing agency and control of their own destinies, and subsequently how European dependence belies the long-held perception of the newcomers civilizing natives. However, by repeated reference to natives tribes as *deceptive* and *manipulative* in dealing with Europeans, the book left a distinctly uncomfortable feeling of absolving European aggression. It does make concessions to transgressions (more to English and Americans, than to French and Spanish), but it feels like forced criticism. For the overall history, pretty good, 3 stars, seems fair..

2 people found this helpful