Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People

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.

Year of the Publication
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Original Title of the Book
Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
Publication Date
Published March 17th 2015 by Hill and Wang (first published March 11th 2014

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How things changed, what caused that change, from shifting trade patterns to measles, whooping cough and smallpox to Norway rats.

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She works hard to come out the Mandan perspective as they dare to go to terms with the changing world around them.

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It 's unsettling and the parts about the Native Americans and disease are particularly hard to ead.

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Encounters at the Heart of thi World is a detailed history of the Mandan people from the Missouri river valley area of North Dakota.

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We now of the Sioux, Apache, Blackfoot and Crow- largely through many " Westerns " ( movies)- but because the Mandan were largely farmers and traders, and their lives was not " sexy ", they reall ge it to " big screen " and hence into our imaginations.That said, Elizabeth Fenn brillantly weaves the remaining threads of Mandan history to tell thi tory of a great culture that played a Central role in North America 's history.

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