A Strange Likeness
Becoming Red and White in Eighteenth-Century North America
By (author) Nancy Shoemaker
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Strange Likeness by Nancy Shoemaker
Book DescriptionThe relationship between American Indians and Europeans on America's frontiers is typically characterized as a series of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings based on a vast gulf of difference. Nancy Shoemaker turns this notion on its head, showing that Indians and Europeans shared common beliefs about their most fundamental realities-land as national territory, government, record-keeping, international alliances, gender, and the human body. Before they even met, Europeans and Indians shared perceptions of a landscape marked by mountains and rivers, a physical world in which the sun rose and set every day, and a human body with its own distinctive shape. They also shared in their ability to make sense of it all and to invent new, abstract ideas based on the tangible and visible experiences of daily life. Focusing on eastern North America up through the end of the Seven Years War, Shoemaker closely reads incidents, letters, and recorded speeches from the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, the Cherokee Nation, and other Native groups alongside British and French sources, paying particular attention to the language used in cross-cultural conversation. Paradoxically, the more American Indians and Europeans came to know each other, the more they came to see each other as different. By the end of the 18th century, Shoemaker argues, they abandoned an initial willingness to recognize in each other a common humanity and instead developed new ideas rooted in the conviction that, by custom and perhaps even by nature, Native Americans and Europeans were peoples fundamentally at odds. In her analysis, Shoemaker reveals the 18th century roots of enduring stereotypes Indians developed about Europeans, as well as stereotypes Europeans created about Indians. This powerful and eloquent interpretation questions long-standing assumptions, revealing the strange likenesses among the inhabitants of colonial North America.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195307108
(236mm x 157mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 25-May-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Nancy Shoemaker
Clearing a Path, Hardback (November 2001)
Bringing together many important scholars in the field, this volume draws on cultural studies and anthropology to put methodological concerns first. It looks at gender, race, material culture, comparative global perspecticves and linguistic analysis to make it a comprehensive reference tool.
American Indians, Paperback (October 2000)
This collection brings together the best recent essays covering over five hundred years of American Indian history. Attached to each essay are primary historical documents that deal with issues of survival, resistance, accommodation, and adaptation, all of which illuminate the complexity and diversity of American Indian experiences.
Negotiators of Change, Paperback (April 1995)View all books by Nancy Shoemaker
Covering the history of ten tribal groups, this book contests the idea that European colonization led to a loss of native American women's power, and instead presents a more complex picture of the adaption to, and subversion of the economic changes introduced by Europeans.
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Author Biography - Nancy Shoemaker
Nancy Shoemaker is Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut- Storrs. She is the author of American Indian Population Recovery in the Twentieth Century and editor of Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women, Clearing a Path: Theorizing the Past in Native American Studies, and American Indians.
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