Native Peoples of North America : The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Daniel M. Cobb
  • Series: The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture
  • 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

History, for all its facts and figures, names and dates, is ultimately subjective. You learn the points of view your teachers provide, the perspectives that books offer, and the conclusions you draw yourself based on the facts you were given. Hearing different angles on historical events gives you a more insightful, accurate, and rewarding understanding of events - especially when a new viewpoint challenges the story you thought you knew.
Now the Great Courses has partnered with Smithsonian to bring you a course that will greatly expand your understanding of American history. This course, Native Peoples of North America, pairs the unmatched resources and expertise of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian with the unparalleled knowledge of Professor Daniel M. Cobb of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to provide a multidisciplinary view of American history, revealing new perspectives on the historical and contemporary experiences of indigenous peoples and their impact on the history of our country.
This insightful and unique 24-lecture course helps disprove myths and stereotypes that many people take as fact. Professor Cobb presents a different account of the Seven Years' War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Gold Rush, the Transcontinental Railroad, and beyond, providing the stories of the American Indian people who fought and negotiated to preserve their ancestral lands.
Native Peoples of North America recounts an epic story of resistance and accommodation, persistence and adaption, extraordinary hardship and survival across more than 500 years of colonial encounter. As the Smithsonian curators stated, "The past never changes. But the way we understand it, learn about it, and know about it changes all the time." Be prepared - this course is going to change how you understand American history. And no matter how much you know about this subject, you will be surprised.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Needs more history, less preaching

I would have liked if this had been more of a straight historical lesson and less of a political polemic. The times when he covered legitimate history were interesting, but he spends way too much time pontificating. For example, if he wants to rename "Pontiac's War," fine. But he insisted on referring to it every single time as "The War Called Pontiac's" or "The so-called Pontiac's War." It would be like listening to a Southerner give a talk about the civil war where he called it "The War of Northern Aggression" every time and never used the common term "Civil War." If I had known this was not a history of the Native Peoples of North America, but rather a political polemic and over the top attempt at historical revisionism, I would not have bought it. Kindly make that more clear in the description.
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- Wilson Beaver

Worthwhile, but frustrating

Any additional comments?

The last half of the course is much better than the first, since it recounts more recent history and Native Americans are allowed to speak for themselves through their writings. In the first half, Prof. Cobb too frequently ascribes thoughts, feelings and intentions to Native historical figures who left no records on which to base such conclusions. In Lecture 4, for example, he somehow intuits Matoaka’s motives in assisting the Virginia colony, and divines that her actions were orchestrated by her father, Powhatan. No evidence is cited to support this interpretation of events, and the PDF Course Guide contains no documentation other than a thin suggested reading list. Prof. Cobb may be right, but it would be nice if readers could somehow follow the path which led him to his often revisionist view of history.

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- Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-21-2016
  • Publisher: The Great Courses