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One Response to “The First Frontier, Scott Weidensaul”
Summary: The First Frontier by Scott Weidensaul is about the first conflicts between Native Americans and English settlers. It depicts the battles that took place and the stories that were made during this time period of early expansion. While the book begins with a scene where a colonial village is attacked and pillaged by Native Americans, it goes back in time to when North America was first populated by early Native American tribes, and continues chronologically from there until Americans really do start expanding into the frontier in the late 1700’s. Weidensaul gives lots of information on the history behind each tribe’s customs and culture that comes into contact with settlers, and intersperses his book with individual narratives, such as that of Pennsylvania adviser Conrad Weiser. He regularly reminds the audience of the cultural context of the time.
Evaluation: I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would considering the subject matter. I think Weidensaul does a good job of delivering a lot of information, and at making a lesser known period of history interesting. I really appreciated his efforts to be unbiased; he does a great job of telling a story from both the Native American and colonist perspective–but he in no way excuses the atrocities that occurred. All in all, I’d say that this is a great book for learning about the development of how Native Americans and European settlers interacted.