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This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the…

de David J. Silverman

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904234,791 (3.81)1
"Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story. In March 1621, when Plymouth's survival was hanging in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief), Ousamequin (Massasoit), and Plymouth's governor, John Carver, declared their people's friendship for each other and a commitment to mutual defense. Later that autumn, the English gathered their first successful harvest and lifted the specter of starvation. Ousmaequin and 90 of his men then visited Plymouth for the "First Thanksgiving." The treaty remained operative until King Philip's War in 1675, when 50 years of uneasy peace between the two parties would come to an end. 400 years after that famous meal, historian David J. Silverman sheds profound new light on the events that led to the creation, and bloody dissolution, of this alliance. Focusing on the Wampanoag Indians, Silverman deepens the narrative to consider tensions that developed well before 1620 and lasted long after the devastating war-tracing the Wampanoags' ongoing struggle for self-determination up to this very day. This unsettling history reveals why some modern Native people hold a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving, a holiday which celebrates a myth of colonialism and white proprietorship of the United States. This Land is Their Land shows that it is time to rethink how we, as a pluralistic nation, tell the history of Thanksgiving"--… (mais)
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Exibindo 4 de 4
**I received an advanced readers copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Simply, this is a necessary read. Though academic in tone, Silverman constructs a very detailed history of the indigenous peoples of New England and their constant struggle with the arrival of European settlers starting in the 1600s. I found the layer of details so fascinating, most of which has never been discussed or taught in history classes in the United States. It's a heartbreaking and maddening history of the Wampanoag Indians; Silverman does provide a look at the Wampanoags in contemporary times as well. Over 400 pages, with 100 pages of endnotes (a historian's dream!), this is a must read for anyone who wishes to know the true story of Thanksgiving and how relations between the indigenous peoples and the European settlers truly evolved over time. ( )
  librarybelle | Nov 30, 2020 |
After reading this book, be prepared to mourn, not celebrate, at your next Thanksgiving. Told from the perspective of the Wampanoag tribe, this true history will infuriate any right-thinking person and really reveals the venal racism of those "separatists" who allegedly sought religious freedom in the New World but actually stole land, incited wars, and murdered the First Nation people who owned and successfully managed the area around Plymouth, MA and the Cape and Islands. The Wampanoag were accustomed to visits from French, Dutch, and English traders, but the Mayflower colonizers decided early on to take advantage of the good will of the tribal sachems by their rank thievery in the name of forcing Christianity upon them. This truth needs to be taught as early as grade school, and the cruelty and greed of the settlers and their money-grubbing sponsors needs to be acknowledged. This is not an easy read, with outrage building at every deliberate action taken against the Native Americans, including having tribal members sold to brutal Caribbean sugar plantation owners. The pride in and celebrations of Mayflower descendants is just as shameful as that of the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Quotes: "Let us discard the notion of America as a New World, never mind a savage wilderness. No less than the English, the Wampanoags were already a people with a rich past before the arrival of the Mayflower."

"The lionization of the Pilgrims also grew out of Plymouth Town's attempt to drum up civic pride and tourism. Depicting the Pilgrims as the epitome of colonial America also served to minimize the country's long-standing history of racial oppression at a time when Jim Crow was working to return Blacks in the South to as close to the state of slavery as possible."

"So much of the prosperity for which other Americans are thankful came at Native people's expense. The whole concept of Thanksgiving is a sugarcoating of the past and present abuses of Native people by European colonists and their successors. The Thanksgiving myth conveniently allowed whites to abdicate responsibility for their murderous conquest and oppression of Native people. They attributed it to just the natural, divine order of things – but Indian was every bit as novel an identity as Christian.
The current American struggle with white nationalism is a product of centuries of shameful acts that have convinced a critical mass of white Christians that the country has always belonged to them and always should."

"Social studies teachers from every corner of the United States commonly set aside a week or two in November to stumble through the Pilgrim-Wampanoag story and then drop Indians from consideration. But for many Indians, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their cultures."

"In all likelihood, neither the Wampanoags nor most of the rest of Native North America had ever experienced disease on this scale. Their separation from the rest of the world had been a boon to their health because it spared them from a host of ailments that festered among the crowds, filth, and close human-animal contacts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Foreign diseases would wreak such devastation among Indians throughout the continent that their introduction should be ranked among the most significant disasters in modern times."

"The Wampanoags' alliance with Plymouth was not about conceding to colonialism. Their hope was to fend off the Narragansetts while they tried to recover from the epidemic of 1616-1619."

"One English sponsor told the colonists to devote more time to securing commodities for sale back in England."

"Tisquantum knew how the colonists' hierarchical society, quest for riches, religious arrogance, and stunning technologies propelled them across the oceans."

"The circulation of material wealth was the essential social lubricant in Indian country."

"By the time Ousamequin died in 1660, English missions, land encroachment, double standards of justice, and colonial interference in Native people's affairs had strained the historic alliance almost to its breaking point."

"English agriculture was increasingly focused on exporting beef and pork to feed the slaves of the burgeoning sugar plantations of the Caribbean."

"In 1659 Rhode Island went so far as to authorize the sale of Indians into overseas slavery when they were convicted of theft or property damage and failed to pay restitution, fines, and court costs, particularly when they had demonstrated "insolency" to English officers."

"Wampanoag men tended to lead short lives because of their perilous work as whalers, fishermen, and soldiers." ( )
  froxgirl | Sep 26, 2020 |
Introduction, "Mourning in America"

"Having a diverse group of schoolchildren sing about the Pilgrims as "my fathers" [My Country 'Tis of Thee] was designed to teach them about who we, as Americans, are, or at least who we're supposed to be. Even students from discrete ethnic backgrounds would...[learn] to identify with English colonists from four hundred years ago as fellow whites." (9)

Indians only mentioned in history curriculum in false Thanksgiving narrative and manifest destiny - not the civilizations they created before the arrival of Europeans, their resistance to colonization, or their existence today.

"Whereas the identity politics of marginalized groups tends to focus on achieving justice and equality (or, in the Indian case, sovereignty), white identity politics has always - always - centered on oppressing others." (17)

"If a student is taught to think of both Pilgrims and Indians more dispassionately as "they" instead of "we," it might be a step toward a more critical understanding of history in which all of the actors can be seen as fully human..." (17)
  JennyArch | Mar 2, 2020 |
Another timely read for both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month, it is long past time to hear the "real" story behind the sanitized version children are often taught. Silverman shows that the stories you were likely taught if you were educated in the US are...not very true. From the founding of Plymouth to the now-known genocide of Native people, Silverman shows what is likely a much more accurate version of what happened.

It's an informative book but it also wasn't quite what I thought it would be. I thought it would be more focused on the concept of Thanksgiving itself, instead of a more in-depth history. Which is not wrong but I perhaps went into the book with a slightly different idea of what it is.

I also found it to be a tough read, not for the content (which in itself was interesting), but the author's writing style. He's a professor and...you can tell. I could very easily see this book as something that shows up in a syllabus for a class of the history of the US settlements and colonies, a class on Native history, etc. but it wasn't "light" reading at all.

Which is not to take away from the text but I'd recommend you take your time with the book to really learn from it but don't expect it to fly by , either. Library borrow was best for a non-school reader, I think. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Nov 14, 2019 |
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"Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story. In March 1621, when Plymouth's survival was hanging in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief), Ousamequin (Massasoit), and Plymouth's governor, John Carver, declared their people's friendship for each other and a commitment to mutual defense. Later that autumn, the English gathered their first successful harvest and lifted the specter of starvation. Ousmaequin and 90 of his men then visited Plymouth for the "First Thanksgiving." The treaty remained operative until King Philip's War in 1675, when 50 years of uneasy peace between the two parties would come to an end. 400 years after that famous meal, historian David J. Silverman sheds profound new light on the events that led to the creation, and bloody dissolution, of this alliance. Focusing on the Wampanoag Indians, Silverman deepens the narrative to consider tensions that developed well before 1620 and lasted long after the devastating war-tracing the Wampanoags' ongoing struggle for self-determination up to this very day. This unsettling history reveals why some modern Native people hold a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving, a holiday which celebrates a myth of colonialism and white proprietorship of the United States. This Land is Their Land shows that it is time to rethink how we, as a pluralistic nation, tell the history of Thanksgiving"--

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