Gods of War, Gods of Peace: How the Meeting of Native and Colonial Religions Shaped Early America by Russell Bourne

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Through dramatic comparisons of Native American and early colonial politics, history, and religion, historian Russell Bourne offers a complete and insightful look at how these two disparate groups influenced each other and how this interchange helped forge the basis for the culture we live in today.

Despite living in a war-torn world, both sides made heroic efforts to reach out to each other. The religious and cultural concepts of the Native Americans helped to transform the colonists, turning many into pantheists, communal villagers, and woodland warriors. Similarly, many of the Native Americans became evangelical Christians, farmers, traders, and even commanders of nationalistic armies. Benjamin Franklin, marveling at the cooperation and mutual respect evident among the Six Nations of the Iroquois, suggested that colonial leaders should follow their lead. Yet, in the end, differences and treacheries drove the two peoples apart.

Based on extensive historical research and consultation with numerous Native American and academic sources, Gods of War, Gods of Peace offers a revelatory new view of how Native American and colonial religions shaped America and its ideals.

Harcourt, 2002.
ISBN: 9780151005017. 425 pp.
Hardcover. Near fine in a near fine jacket.