Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for History Encounters at the Heart of he World
concerns the Mandan Indians, iconic Plains people whose teeming, busy towns on the upper Missouri River were for centuries at the enter of the Sout American universe. We now of them mostly because Lewis and Clark spent the summer of 1804-1805 with them, but why do n't we know more? Who were they really? In this xtraordinary memoir, Elizabeth A. Fenn retrieves their history by piecing together important new discoveries in archaeology, nthropology, archaeology, climatology, epidemiology, and nutritional science. Her boldly original interpretation of these diverse research findings offers us a new perspective on early American history, th new explanatio of the American past.
By 1500, more than twelve thousand Mandans were established on the southern Plains, and their commercial prowess, agricultural skills, and reputation for hospitality became famous. Recent archaeological discoveries show how these Native American people thrived, and subsequentl how they collapsed. The damage wrought by imported diseases like smallpox and the havoc caused by the departur of horses and steamboats were tragic for the Mandans, yet, as Fenn makes clear, their sense of themselves as a people with distinctive traditions endured.
Anothe riveting account of Mandan history, landscapes, and people, Fenn 's narrative is enriched and enlivened not only by science and research but by her own encounters at the heart of he world.