The English Embrace of the American Indians
This book makes a wide, conceptual challenge to the theory that the English of the colonial period thought of Native Americans as irrational and subhuman, dismissing any intimations to the contrary as ideology or propaganda. It makes a controversial intervention by demonstrating that the true tragedy of colonial relations was precisely the genuineness of benevolence, and not its cynical exploitation or subordination to other ends that was often the compelling force behind conflict and suffering. It was because the English genuinely believed that the Indians were their equals in body and mind that they fatally tried to embrace them. From an intellectual exploration of the abstract ideas of human rights in colonial America and the grounded realities of the politics that existed there to a narrative of how these ideas played out in relations between the two peoples in the early years of the colony, this book challenges and subverts current understanding of English colonial politics and religion.
Provides a controversial new analysis of the relationship between English settlers and Native Americans in early colonial AmericaFeatures religious, philosophical, and political explorations of the history of Anglo-Native American relationsAppeals to scholars of postcolonial literature, colonial historiography, and the history of human rights