A Finnish Scholar Wants to Change How We See American History

A Finnish Scholar Wants to Change How We See American History, Jennifer Schuessler.

“Indigenous Continent,” (by Pekka Hamalainen) published on Tuesday by Liveright, aims to do nothing less than recast the story of Native American — and American — history, portraying Indigenous people not as victims but as powerful actors who profoundly shaped the course of events.

Hamalainen, a professor at the University of Oxford who has written acclaimed histories of the Comanche and the Lakota, is hardly the first scholar to argue against the trope of the “doomed” Indian, who inevitably falls victim to the onslaught of guns, germs and capitalism. But he takes the argument further.

The confrontation between European settlers and Indigenous America, he writes, “was a four-centuries-long war,” in which “Indians won as often as not.”…

Back then, Hamalainen was part of a cohort of scholars who were building on the so-called New Indian History. And the field has only continued to explode.

[read more — behind paywall]

Posted in History/Articles.

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