Cover Image: Born of Lakes and Plains

Born of Lakes and Plains

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Member Reviews

Before reading this book I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about interactions between English settlers and Native Americans. I learned the "traditional" aspects from the viewpoint of colonizers throughout elementary, middle, and high school, but knew next to nothing from the viewpoint of Native Americans until my college courses. I only learned about Indian schools last year after researching a small storyline from an amazing movie (Let Him Go). I didn't realize I had never really thought about the intermarriage between Native people and the traders moving throughout their lands.  

Anne Hyde outlines the lives of 5 families made up of Canadian and American trappers and Native Americans, spanning from the late 1600s to the early 1900s. This look into the history of North America shows how trappers being adopted into various tribes through marriage helped the early development of the west.

I really enjoyed the topic of this book and the theme of the 5 families, but I was definitely confused several times. I wish there was some sort of family tree included for reference. (I read this as an e-ARC, but maybe there is in the final/hardback edition.)
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Hyde wrote an ambitious book. She traces five families through their mixed ancestry, Native American and white. She also provides an extensive background of Native American groups and history in the Great Lakes and Canadian venues. 
It’s a wealth of knowledge, at times, overwhelming. I found it difficult to keep track of the Family branches, becoming lost and confused and having to flip back in the text to discern who was with whom,
The prose was a bit dry, occasionally, but overall it’s an inviting read.
I liked the focus on the family angle and really enjoyed reading about the Bent brothers and their progeny.
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This is an excellent book on the role that mixed race people played in the early development of the west. The mixed people is primarily composed of Canadian and American trappers and American Indians. It covers the time period of the late 1600s to the early 1900s. The author does an outstanding job of showing how the relationships between the trappers and their Indian wives helped with the development of the west by being adopted into the various tribes. She also clearly shows how American expansionism continually diminished the American Indians land holdings ending with reservations that were far from their original lands and exposed to harsh conditions on those reservations. The author’s writing style is engaging and it reads more like a novel than a dry history recitation. I strongly recommend this book.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and my nonfiction book review blog.
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Wonderful. A missing piece of history that is not discussed enough. Excellent research and well written, very interesting. Great for anyone interested in true history of North America and those who lived here. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!
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An interesting look at a history that hasn't been told on the scale it deserves. It was fascinating to see the history of North America play out through the lens of the experiences of 5 families. Even if the families weren't of mixed descent like they are in this book that would be an unusual and interesting way of framing history. However, the addition of the fact that these families were comprised of indigenous peoples and European settlers makes the framing of history around their lives that much more the interesting.
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“Born of Lakes and Plains” simultaneously intimate and also wide-reaching in its focus on several particular mixed-race families over the course of several generations, and also much of the greater story of mixed-race and mixed-descent Native families in North America, which in turn encompasses much of the general indigenous history of North America. To say the least, it’s quite a lot to cover all at once. Hyde however very successfully pulls off an excellent balance between the micro and macro, resulting in a read that I found to be eye-opening on several levels.
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