Catalogue


A strange likeness [electronic resource] : becoming red and white in eighteenth-century North America /
Nancy Shoemaker.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
description
viii, 211 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195167929 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
isbn
0195167929 (acid-free paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8073906
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [175]-203) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Nancy Shoemaker is Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut-Storrs.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-12-01:
Shoemaker argues that Indians and Europeans had much in common and shared "a bedrock of ideas." She suggests that the "crucial similarity" was "their common humanity, in particular the cognitive tool kit that made thinking, explaining, understanding and acting possible." In other words, because they shared the basic human characteristics of being able to think and communicate, Indians and their European counterparts had a common foundation. Shoemaker (Univ. of Connecticut) covers such topics as perspectives on the land, interpretations of political leadership and authority, the significance of written and oral history, appreciations of alliances, and meanings of gender and race in her attempt to portray that Natives and colonizers had similar approaches to the encounter. Unfortunately, what these chapters reveal is just how different the two groups were in their approaches and their outlooks. Shoemaker contends that it was the contentiousness that grew out of competition for land that caused the exaggeration of differences and adoption of stereotypical images. Her evidence, however, suggests that the two groups only articulated similarities when those characteristics supported a particular agenda, and that the parallels often were contrived or at least misunderstood in efforts by one group to fit the other into a desired and predictable position. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students/faculty. M. J. Puglisi Virginia Intermont College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In refreshingly clear prose, Nancy Shoemaker shows how Europeans and Native Americans together built the stereotypes and half-truths that defined each other as inherently different kinds of people. The central irony-indeed tragedy-of her tale is that the supposed differences could never haveappeared so clear if the cultures involved had not actually been so much alike. A Strange Likeness is a sophisticated contribution to our understanding of how race performs its ugly work."-- Daniel K. Richter, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania
"In refreshingly clear prose, Nancy Shoemaker shows how Europeans andNative Americans together built the stereotypes and half-truths that definedeach other as inherently different kinds of people. The central irony-indeedtragedy-of her tale is that the supposed differences could never have appearedso clear if the cultures involved had not actually been so much alike. A StrangeLikeness is a sophisticated contribution to our understanding of how raceperforms its ugly work."-- Daniel K. Richter, McNeil Center for Early AmericanStudies, University of Pennsylvania
"In these elegantly written and scrupulously documented essays, Shoemaker persuasively argues that an acknowledgment of commonly held ideas is essential to understanding the construction of difference. This alone should encourage scholars in the field to rethink the encounter, no meanachievement for any book."--American Historical Review
"In these elegantly written and scrupulously documented essays, Shoemakerpersuasively argues that an acknowledgment of commonly held ideas is essentialto understanding the construction of difference. This alone should encouragescholars in the field to rethink the encounter, no mean achievement for anybook."--American Historical Review
"Nancy Shoemaker brings vividly to life an eighteenth-century world in which shared modes of remembering, of categorizing people and land, and of thinking about the human place in the universe complicated and facilitated relations between Americans of European and Indian descent. In place ofsimple incomprehension and hatred, she offers us a view of a world of intricate and fluid meanings."--Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University
"Nancy Shoemaker brings vividly to life an eighteenth-century world inwhich shared modes of remembering, of categorizing people and land, and ofthinking about the human place in the universe complicated and facilitatedrelations between Americans of European and Indian descent. In place of simpleincomprehension and hatred, she offers us a view of a world of intricate andfluid meanings."--Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University
"Nancy Shoemaker, in this rich and engaging study of the records of eighteenth-century Indian treaties and treaty councils, gives us a history in which Native Americans and Europeans both do the talking. Meeting upon the treaty ground, Europeans and Indians not only noticed, but expoundedupon, the things they shared with one another: from bodies to families, from the distributing of power to the consecrating of landscapes. But these very commonalities, far from providing for agreement, actually served as points of departure for hardening ideas about difference, which was increasingseen as a matter of race. The very understandings that Europeans and Native Americans most shared made all the more intractable their deteriorating relations."--Gregory Evans Dowd, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
"Nancy Shoemaker, in this rich and engaging study of the records ofeighteenth-century Indian treaties and treaty councils, gives us a history inwhich Native Americans and Europeans both do the talking. Meeting upon thetreaty ground, Europeans and Indians not only noticed, but expounded upon, thethings they shared with one another: from bodies to families, from thedistributing of power to the consecrating of landscapes. But these verycommonalities, far from providing for agreement, actually served as points ofdeparture for hardening ideas about difference, which was increasing seen as amatter of race. The very understandings that Europeans and Native Americans mostshared made all the more intractable their deteriorating relations."--GregoryEvans Dowd, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
One of the book's strengths is its attentiuon to many Indian peoples, especially those in the American South, who usually attract less notice ... very readable ... a worthwhile book.
"Ranging widely and insightfully through the eighteenth-century Indian country, Nancy Shoemaker reveals the interplay of difference and similarity that constructed race in colonial America. In lucid prose and with keen judgment, she offers a fascinating and compelling new interpretation ofthe Indian adaptation to colonial expansion."--Alan S. Taylor, author of American Colonies: The Settlement of North America
"Ranging widely and insightfully through the eighteenth-century Indiancountry, Nancy Shoemaker reveals the interplay of difference and similarity thatconstructed race in colonial America. In lucid prose and with keen judgment,she offers a fascinating and compelling new interpretation of the Indianadaptation to colonial expansion."--Alan S. Taylor, author of American Colonies:The Settlement of North America
"Ranging widely and insightfully through the eighteenth-century Indian country, Nancy Shoemaker reveals the interplay of difference and similarity that constructed race in colonial America. In lucid prose and with keen judgment, she offers a fascinating and compelling new interpretation of the Indian adaptation to colonial expansion."--Alan S. Taylor, author of American Colonies: The Settlement of North America "Shoemaker's innovative argument and perceptive observations distinguish her book....This slim volume should be required reading for graduate students and sophisticated undergraduates alike, as well as scholars of Native Americans, colonialism, race, and identity."-- William and Mary Quarterly "In these elegantly written and scrupulously documented essays, Shoemaker persuasively argues that an acknowledgment of commonly held ideas is essential to understanding the construction of difference. This alone should encourage scholars in the field to rethink the encounter, no mean achievement for any book."-- American Historical Review "Nancy Shoemaker, in this rich and engaging study of the records of eighteenth-century Indian treaties and treaty councils, gives us a history in which Native Americans and Europeans both do the talking. Meeting upon the treaty ground, Europeans and Indians not only noticed, but expounded upon, the things they shared with one another: from bodies to families, from the distributing of power to the consecrating of landscapes. But these very commonalities, far from providing for agreement, actually served as points of departure for hardening ideas about difference, which was increasing seen as a matter of race. The very understandings that Europeans and Native Americans most shared made all the more intractable their deteriorating relations."--Gregory Evans Dowd, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor "In refreshingly clear prose, Nancy Shoemaker shows how Europeans and Native Americans together built the stereotypes and half-truths that defined each other as inherently different kinds of people. The central irony-indeed tragedy-of her tale is that the supposed differences could never have appeared so clear if the cultures involved had not actually been so much alike. A Strange Likeness is a sophisticated contribution to our understanding of how race performs its ugly work."-- Daniel K. Richter, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania "Nancy Shoemaker brings vividly to life an eighteenth-century world in which shared modes of remembering, of categorizing people and land, and of thinking about the human place in the universe complicated and facilitated relations between Americans of European and Indian descent. In place of simple incomprehension and hatred, she offers us a view of a world of intricate and fluid meanings."--Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University
"Ranging widely and insightfully through the eighteenth-century Indian country, Nancy Shoemaker reveals the interplay of difference and similarity that constructed race in colonial America. In lucid prose and with keen judgment, she offers a fascinating and compelling new interpretation of the Indian adaptation to colonial expansion."--Alan S. Taylor, author ofAmerican Colonies: The Settlement of North America "Shoemaker's innovative argument and perceptive observations distinguish her book....This slim volume should be required reading for graduate students and sophisticated undergraduates alike, as well as scholars of Native Americans, colonialism, race, and identity."--William and Mary Quarterly "In these elegantly written and scrupulously documented essays, Shoemaker persuasively argues that an acknowledgment of commonly held ideas is essential to understanding the construction of difference. This alone should encourage scholars in the field to rethink the encounter, no mean achievement for any book."--American Historical Review "Nancy Shoemaker, in this rich and engaging study of the records of eighteenth-century Indian treaties and treaty councils, gives us a history in which Native Americans and Europeans both do the talking. Meeting upon the treaty ground, Europeans and Indians not only noticed, but expounded upon, the things they shared with one another: from bodies to families, from the distributing of power to the consecrating of landscapes. But these very commonalities, far from providing for agreement, actually served as points of departure for hardening ideas about difference, which was increasing seen as a matter of race. The very understandings that Europeans and Native Americans most shared made all the more intractable their deteriorating relations."--Gregory Evans Dowd, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor "In refreshingly clear prose, Nancy Shoemaker shows how Europeans and Native Americanstogetherbuilt the stereotypes and half-truths that defined each other as inherently different kinds of people. The central irony-indeed tragedy-of her tale is that the supposed differences could never have appeared so clear if the cultures involved had not actually been so much alike.A Strange Likenessis a sophisticated contribution to our understanding of how race performs its ugly work."-- Daniel K. Richter, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania "Nancy Shoemaker brings vividly to life an eighteenth-century world in which shared modes of remembering, of categorizing people and land, and of thinking about the human place in the universe complicated and facilitated relations between Americans of European and Indian descent. In place of simple incomprehension and hatred, she offers us a view of a world of intricate and fluid meanings."--Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University
"Scholars often forget that, as human beings, Indians and Europeans had much in common. Shoemaker's study is invaluable because it brings those similarities to light and argues for Indian agency in using that common experiential language to articulate and magnify differences between Indian andEuropean/Euro-American cultures."--Journal of Social History
"Scholars often forget that, as human beings, Indians and Europeans hadmuch in common. Shoemaker's study is invaluable because it brings thosesimilarities to light and argues for Indian agency in using that commonexperiential language to articulate and magnify differences between Indian andEuropean/Euro-American cultures."--Journal of Social History
"Shoemaker's innovative argument and perceptive observations distinguish her book....This slim volume should be required reading for graduate students and sophisticated undergraduates alike, as well as scholars of Native Americans, colonialism, race, and identity."--William and MaryQuarterly
"Shoemaker's innovative argument and perceptive observations distinguishher book....This slim volume should be required reading for graduate studentsand sophisticated undergraduates alike, as well as scholars of Native Americans,colonialism, race, and identity."--William and Mary Quarterly
"This slim volume should be required reading for graduate students and sophisticated undergraduates alike, as well as scholars of Native Americans, colonialism, race, and identity."--William and Mary Quarterly
"This slim volume should be required reading for graduate students andsophisticated undergraduates alike, as well as scholars of Native Americans,colonialism, race, and identity."--William and Mary Quarterly
Introduction 1. Land. 2. Kings. 3. Writing. 4. Alliances. 5. Gender. 6. Race. Conclusion Notes / Bibliography
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2004
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Summaries
Long Description
The relationship between American Indians and Europeans on America's frontiers is typically characterized as a series of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings based on a vast gulf of difference. Nancy Shoemaker turns this notion on its head, showing that Indians and Europeans shared common beliefs about their most fundamental realities--land as national territory, government, record-keeping, international alliances, gender, and the human body. Before they even met, Europeans and Indians shared perceptions of a landscape marked by mountains and rivers, a physical world in which the sun rose and set every day, and a human body with its own distinctive shape. They also shared in their ability to make sense of it all and to invent new, abstract ideas based on the tangible and visible experiences of daily life. Focusing on eastern North America up through the end of the Seven Years War, Shoemaker closely reads incidents, letters, and recorded speeches from the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, the Cherokee Nation, and other Native groups alongside British and French sources, paying particular attention to the language used in cross-cultural conversation. Paradoxically, the more American Indians and Europeans came to know each other, the more they came to see each other as different. By the end of the 18th century, Shoemaker argues, they abandoned an initial willingness to recognize in each other a common humanity and instead developed new ideas rooted in the conviction that, by custom and perhaps even by nature, Native Americans and Europeans were peoples fundamentally at odds. In her analysis, Shoemaker reveals the 18th century roots of enduring stereotypes Indians developed about Europeans, as well as stereotypes Europeans created about Indians. This powerful and eloquent interpretation questions long-standing assumptions, revealing the strange likenesses among the inhabitants of colonial North America.
Long Description
When American Indians and Europeans met on the frontiers of eighteenth-century eastern North America, they had many shared ideas about human nature, political life, and social relations. But instead of finding fellowship in their common humanity, both Indians and Europeans emphasized their difference, increasingly so as the eighteenth century progressed. By the century's end, they had come to see themselves as people so different in their customs and natures that they appeared to be each other's opposite.
Main Description
The relationship between American Indians and Europeans on America's frontiers is typically characterized as a series of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings based on a vast gulf of difference. Nancy Shoemaker turns this notion on its head, showing that Indians and Europeans shared commonbeliefs about their most fundamental realities--land as national territory, government, record-keeping, international alliances, gender, and the human body. Before they even met, Europeans and Indians shared perceptions of a landscape marked by mountains and rivers, a physical world in which the sun rose and set every day, and a human body with its own distinctive shape. They also shared in their ability to make sense of it all and to invent new,abstract ideas based on the tangible and visible experiences of daily life. Focusing on eastern North America up through the end of the Seven Years War, Shoemaker closely reads incidents, letters, and recorded speeches from the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, the Cherokee Nation, and other Nativegroups alongside British and French sources, paying particular attention to the language used in cross-cultural conversation. Paradoxically, the more American Indians and Europeans came to know each other, the more they came to see each other as different. By the end of the 18th century, Shoemaker argues, they abandoned an initial willingness to recognize in each other a common humanity and instead developed new ideasrooted in the conviction that, by custom and perhaps even by nature, Native Americans and Europeans were peoples fundamentally at odds. In her analysis, Shoemaker reveals the 18th century roots of enduring stereotypes Indians developed about Europeans, as well as stereotypes Europeans createdabout Indians. This powerful and eloquent interpretation questions long-standing assumptions, revealing the strange likenesses among the inhabitants of colonial North America.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Landp. 13
Kingsp. 35
Writingp. 61
Alliancesp. 83
Genderp. 105
Racep. 125
Conclusionp. 141
Abbreviationsp. 145
Notesp. 147
Bibliographyp. 175
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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