Follow Us! Like Our Page!

Ned Blackhawk’s Rediscovery Challenges the Old Stories of America – The Walrus

Aug. 8, 2023

A new book shines a light on how Indigenous nations resisted—and shaped—settler society in the US

Though Ned Blackhawk’s heralded new book, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History, focuses on America, Canadian readers will see core elements of their own history in his sweeping survey. Building on years of groundbreaking work by Indigenous and settler scholars, Rediscovery clearly sets out how Indigenous nations were key actors in shaping the very foundations of the US, from the American Revolution and the national Constitution to the country’s eventual borders.

Rediscovery begins with early Spanish inroads—following a path paved in advance by epidemic disease, horses, and lethal weaponry—into Indigenous territory in what is now the American Southwest, between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Blackhawk blends vignettes with big-picture history, capturing singular moments to illustrate a continent in upheaval and the twists and turns of Indigenous resilience. From the Pueblo nations of the Southwest to Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) in the Northeast, Indigenous peoples applied numerous survival strategies: military resistance and adaptation; religious conversion; moving vast distances; among the Iroquois, refilling their ranks with the adoption of both other Indigenous and settlers’ children; trading; intermarrying; and playing European empires against one another in the same way the latter worked to divide and conquer Indigenous nations.

Read More:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More