Review by Booklist Review
To enliven this collection of writings by the explorers, colonists, and warriors of eastern North America, Stiles provides sprightly, occasionally waggish introductions. Arranged chronologically, his selections reach from the founding of Jamestown to the defeat of France in 1759, and many are taken from annals set down by the period's most famous founding figures: Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, Englishman John Smith, Pilgrim William Bradford, Puritan John Winthrop. One of Stiles' goals is to show how harsh life could be in general and how specifically brutal the Indians could be when on the warpath, with bloodcurdling passages written by the French Jesuits about the details of torture, dismemberment, and death to make the point. But blood spilling was an equal-opportunity activity, as illustrated by passages written by participants in King Philip's War, the 1675 conflict that settled the Indians' fate in Massachusetts. An eclectic selection of passages then follows concerning the Salem witch trials and the autobiographies of Franklin and an enslaved African named Olaudah Equiano. An interesting assemblage of original material. --Gilbert Taylor
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
YA-This series title uses primary-source documents to create an entertaining page-turner with an emphasis on French and British colonies from Canada to South Carolina. The book opens with Champlain's observations of Quebec in New France (1608) and ends with Bougainville's bitter account of French surrender to the British in Canada in 1760. The gripping narratives bring this amazing period to life. The excerpts represent slaves, women, farmers, and scouts, as well as more prominent figures in colonial history. Some of them describe brutal tortures. The distinctions among the colonies are characterized and compared so that readers can see them as individual entities. Stiles then takes readers deeper to show how each colony's demographics, philosophy, leaders, and relations with both Native Americans and Europe impacted on their survival, their future, and the future of North America. A map and an introduction set the geographical and environmental stage on which the drama was played out.-Mary Alice Giarda, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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