Friday, August 12, 2005

Premature Evaluation

I'm only a third through this book but I'm enjoying it immensely, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

Putting flesh on the bones of the Indian (yes, "Indian") civilizations in North & South America prior to Columbus' arrival. Not a romanticization, but a fresh look at what these civilizations were like, drawing on recent research and emphasizing the uniqueness and robustness of their societies.

Much of the book is speculative, but compelling evidence suggests that these peoples had a much greater impact on their natural environment and were remarkably complex. The New World inhabitants were not necessarily the backward stepchildren of Europe and Asia. Worth a look and more later.