Please write a (3-5 pg.) book review/reflection around one of the following questions.
You may find it necessary to support your perspective to one question with ideas that relate to
the other questions; however, do not try to answer every question. Make sure you are using
sufficient evidence from the book.
- Daniel Richter asks us to resist “the urge to look westward across the plow of a Pilgrim
patriarch…and instead try to peer eastward over the shoulder of a Wampanoag woman hoeing
her corn” (8). What does he mean by this metaphor and how does he develop the idea? Are there
examples from the book that illustrate what we gain from this approach? What is the difference
between “peering over the shoulder” and “seeing through the eyes” of someone separated from
us by time, place, body, and/or culture? Use plenty of specific examples from the book.
- Daniel Richter’s attempts to show us four ways of facing east: imagining new people and new
worlds (chapter 1); analyzing changing material worlds (chapter 2); living alongside Europeans
(chapter 3); close readings of important but problematic historical documents (chapter 4); and
analyzing Native Americans as powerful participants in the struggles over empire. Which “way”
of “facing east” makes the most sense to you? Why? Using specific examples, show how well
Richter “faces east” in these chapters. What is inspiring? What doubts are you left with?
- Using specific examples, how does this book complicate or challenge your preexisting
knowledge of Native Americans and the “colonial” era? (As a side question, it’s worth asking
when the “colonial era” ended for Native Americans?) What are the practical barriers to “facing
east” in primary, secondary, and postsecondary (college) education? Are there other barriers?
What aspects of the book, if any, are controversial?