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h a r v a r d u n i v e r s i t y p r e s s
Befre the Reutin
AmericA’s Ancient PAsts
America began, we are often told, with the Founding Fathers, the men who waged a rev-olution and created a unique place called the United States. We may acknowledge theearly Jamestown and Puritan colonists and mourn the dispossession of Native Americans,but we rarely grapple with the complexity of the nation’spre-revolutionary past. In this pathbreaking revision, DanielRichter shows that the United States has a much deeperhistory than is apparent—that far from beginning with aclean slate, it is a nation with multiple pasts that stretchback as far as the Middle Ages, pasts whose legacies con-tinue to shape the present.Exploring a vast range of original sources,
Before the Revolution
spans more than seven centuries and rangesacross North America, Europe, and Africa. Richter recoversthe lives of a stunning array of peoples—Indians, Spaniards,French, Dutch, Africans, English—as they struggled withone another and with their own people for control of landand resources. Their struggles occurred in a global contextand built upon the remains of what came before. Gradu-ally and unpredictably, distinctive patterns of North American culture took shape on acontinent where no one yet imagined there would be nations called the United States,Canada, or Mexico.By seeing these trajectories on their own dynamic terms, rather than merely asa prelude to independence, Richter’s epic vision reveals the deepest origins of Americanhistory.
BELKNAP PRESS | APRIL | 6
| 88HALFTONES,13MAPS | 370PP. |ISBN 9780674055803 | $35.00£25.95UK | EISBN:9780674061248 | HISTORY
DANIEL K. RICHTER
is the Richard S. DunnDirector of the McNeilCenter for EarlyAmerican Studies atthe University of Pennsylvania, and author of
FacingEast from Indian Country.