James A. Maxwell, editor,
America's Fascinating Indian Heritage
(Reader's Digest, 1990)

America's Fascinating Indian Heritage is my second favorite general reference about American Indians, although it is a far distant second. While the writing is fantastic, the illustrations and photographs do not begin to compare to The World of the American Indian from the National Geographic Society. The flip side is that this book is more recent and contains discoveries made since the other was released.

With just over 400 pages, this oversized book will keep you reading for quite a while. It takes a long time to simply look at the illustrations and read their captions. There are illustrations on almost every page and some pages have more than one.

The chapters are: "The First Indians: Finding a New World," "Lost Indian Civilizations: Kingdoms of the Sun," "North America in 1500," "The Southeast: The Five Civilized Tribes," "The Northeast & Great Lakes: Woodland Warriors," "The Great Plains: Nomadic Horsemen," "The Southwest: Planters & Herdsmen," "Great Basin, California, Plateau: Foragers & Gatherers," "The Northwest Coast: Traders & Fishermen," "The Subarctic: People of the Caribou," "The Arctic: Dwellers in the Icy World" and "Contemporary Indians: Renaissance of an Ancient People."

The final section contains a list of museums, living history sites, archaeological sites and other attractions open to the general public.

America's Fascinating Indian Heritage is another of the books that I recommend for curling up with on a long winter day for pleasure reading or an educational experience of the best kind.

book review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new