'A history of resilience ... sweeping, comprehensive ... it's a story that has been waiting to be told' Guardian
'An account sorely needed ... a kaleidoscopic view of Native American history, refreshing and rollicking, and not unlike its fractured reality' Standpoint
Blood and Land is a dazzling, panoramic account of the history and achievements of Native North Americans, and why they matter today. It is about why no understanding of the wider world is possible without comprehending the original inhabitants of the United States and Canada: Native Americans, First Nations and Arctic peoples.
This highly personal book, based on years of travel and first-hand research in North America, introduces a deeply complex story, of myriad identities and determined ethnicities - from the desert Southwest to the high Arctic, from first contact between Europeans and Native Americans to the challenges of Native leadership today. Instead of writing a chronological history, King confronts the reader with the paradoxes, diversity and successes of Native North Americans. Their astonishing ingenuity and supple intelligence enabled, after centuries of suffering both violence and dispossession, a striking level of recovery, optimism and autonomy in the twenty-first century.
Beautifully illustrated and filled with arresting and surprising stories, Blood and Land looks well beyond the 'feathers-and-failure' narratives beloved by historians to show us Native North America as it was and is.
J.C.H. King is currently the von Hugel Fellow at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He worked at the British Museum for nearly forty years. Latterly he was the Keeper of Anthropology in what is now the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. He has travelled extensively in North America, from the California Missions to Nunavut, and the Everglades to Point Barrow, working with many different Native people to understand cultures and to explain difficult histories for a general public.