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Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America

Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America
Author: Peter Silver
ISBN 13: 9780393062489
ISBN 10: 393062481
Edition: First Edition (1st printi
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 2007-11-26
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 432
List Price: $29.95

"No recent work of history...has presented such a distinctive—and beautifully resonant—authorial voice."—John Demos, Yale University

Publishers Weekly

The mid-Atlantic colonies of 18th-century America were home to a remarkable diversity of immigrants-Germans, Quakers, Moravians, Englishmen and French, among others. In this exhaustively researched and elegantly written study, Princeton historian Silver asks how all the Europeans lived side by side. The answer, Silver says, is that they were solidified into a single people during the Seven Years' War in the 1750s by the fear of Indian attack. The motley Europeans morphed into white people, defined in opposition to Indians. (An intriguing appendix reveals that colonial newspapers tended to use the adjective "white" to describe people principally during bouts of Indian war.) But not everyone with pale skin became part of this new people-the most fascinating sections of the book explore why some European settlers, such as Quakers (who were accused of betraying white people's interests), were excluded from the collective. Silver also shows how fears of Indian menace were taken up during the Revolution: patriots shored up a distinctive American identity and claimed that the British were engaging in Indian-like atrocities, such as scalping and cannibalism. Silver's study will change the way scholars think about whiteness and will reshape our understanding of how 13 distinct colonies were knit together into one nation. 13 illus., 2 maps. (Nov.)

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