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Book reviews for "North,_John_David" sorted by average review score:

Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy
Published in Paperback by Univ of North Carolina Pr (1998)
Authors: David S. Cecelski, Timothy B. Tyson, and John Hope Franklin
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Excellent Book
First let me say that I rarely read non-fiction and even when I do, I rarely manage to finish an entire book of it. Democracy Betrayed is an exception. The writing was clear, precise, right-on, and interesting. And, perhaps most importantly, educational. I was born and raised in North Carolina and knew nothing--absolutely nothing--about the Wilmington Race Riots or the subject of Cecelski's essay Abraham Galloway. I am female and was a victim of gender based racial violence myself so I was aware of the issues raised in Gilmore's essay and White's essay, but I have never seen the issues written about so well. What I most like about this book is that it destroys stereotypes about class and race. After all isn't it the most well-to-do who most benefit from race violence so why should we be surprised to learn that it was not the so-called "white trash" who began the racial massacre in 1898, but the rich, the ones who were most likely to benefit from forcing the elected fusionist party officials out of office and placing themselves in their offices. I never knew--it certainly wasn't taught in my public school--that in 1896 every office in North Carolina was held by a progressive fusionist party member, elected by the fusion of lower class whites and blacks. Imagine how different this state would be, how advanced in talent and intelligence, if the massacre hadn't occurred, if black doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, newspaper editors and writers, etc, hadn't been forced from the state and if the elected officials had been allowed to remain in office. Perhaps what is most important is the book succeeds in "drawing public attention to the tragedy", a tragedy that is apparantly very much in the consciousness of Black Wilmington citizens and very much needs to be in the consciousness of all humans.

Early Fur Trade on the Northern Plains: Canadian Traders Among the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians, 1738-1818
Published in Paperback by Univ of Oklahoma Pr (Trd) (1999)
Authors: David Thompson, John Macdonell, Charles W. McKenzie, Franaois-Antoine Larocque, W. Raymond Wood, and Thomas D. Thiessen
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This is a well written and engaging look into the importance of the Mandan and Hidatsa Indian villages as a pivotal point in trade systems during the late 1700's through early 1800's. Being located along the Missouri River in present day North Dakota, the Mandan/Hidatsa Indians traded horses, robes and furs to Canadian Fur Companies in return for guns and ammunition. They would then trade these goods for other commodities from various Northern Plains Indian Tribes, who previously may have traded with other tribes or the Spaniards further south. In part one, the authors give a lengthy but excellent and relevant chronological introduction as to the fur trade history of this geographical area. Part two includes five journals (or excerpts) of some of these Northwest Fur Company traders' first hand accounts depicting life as it was: John Macdonell's descriptions of the Indians, geography and trade in the 1790's; David Thompson's narrative describing his harrowing 1797 journey from Fort Assiniboine to the Mandan villages in the dead of winter; Larocque's two narratives, the "Missouri (1804)" and "Yellowstone (1805)" Journals, the latter of which, in the company with Crow Indians, he may possibly have been the first white man to descend the Yellowstone River, pre-dating William Clark by more than a year. The final narrative is of Charles McKenzie's four journeys to the Mandan villages (1804-1806), the first two in company with Larocque's expeditions. This is a fascinating read for fur trade enthusiasts and/or those whose interests are in early western exploration.

Finding Your Own Eden: There's a Place for You in the Pacific Northwest
Published in Paperback by Granville Island/Peanut Butter Publishing (1997)
Authors: John R. Hanna, Liz Lake, David Marty, and Wayne Shuman
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A Great Resource
I enjoyed reading the book very much. I have visited a number of the places mentioned and found his information to be accurate. He provided information about locations I had never known even though I had lived there.

It also works well as a guidebook when vacationing

Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art
Published in Paperback by Gibbs Smith Publisher (1996)
Authors: Leslie G. Kelen, David Sucec, Craig Law, John Telford, Tom Till, and Philip Hyde
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Rock Art Brought to Life
No one really knows what was in the minds of the people who made the prolific, and mysterious rock art of the southwest. Therefore most reputable books on rock art simply describe in dry archeological detail the design elements and locations of the various panels. Leslie Kelen is more of an oral-historian than a scientist. He simply recorded the words and stories the modern Native Americans tell about the art in their area. He combined this with a fine, scientifically accurate introductory essay on ancient cultures, and spectacular photography. The result is a real experience of Canyon Country Rock Art. The book captures the beautiful inscrutability of the rock art and some of the best stories commonly told about it. Many of the local Native Americans are both steeped in their native heritage, and well aware of the scientific community's analysis. This is not a book for scientists. It is a book for people fascinated with the southwest and who wish to add new colors and possibilities to their ruminations on rock art. This is a book for visitors to the southwest who want to see more deeply into the landscape they are traveling through. I have been a guide in the southwest canyon country since 1996, and this is the number one rock art book I recommend to clients.

Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus
Published in Hardcover by Univ of Illinois Pr (Pro Ref) (1992)
Author: David Lewis Hammarstrom
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In-Depth, Well Researched
Now know more than I ever wanted to about John Ringling North.

The book was a bit slow in parts due to the excessive detail the author included. Such detail would be of much more interest to a fellow circus history aficionado than someone(like me) with a passing interest.

Well researched, even handed account of the subject matter.

Stonehenge: Neolithic Man and the Cosmos
Published in Hardcover by HarperCollins Publishers (1996)
Author: John David North
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Stellar sightings and lithic lessons
North's comprehensive study of Neolithic structures and their purpose is an intense read. Except for frequent returns to earlier information, this book is not a "page-turner." It is, however, a wealth of challenging ideas on how our Neolithic ancestors lived. While North avoids suggesting that Neolithic Europe was unified in religious thinking, he points out areas of commonality. Some form of ancestor worship, he contends, led to sophisticated insight of the heavens across Europe. Over the centuries this knowledge went from star sightings to the recording of positions of the sun and moon at significant times. The evidence for this thesis lies in the burial sites, banks and ditches, wooden and stone monuments dating back nearly seven thousand years.

With firm conviction, illustrated by numerous graphic images, North demonstrates how early burial sites acted to mark stellar risings. Neolithic burials took place in a variety of sites: gallery graves, passage graves and dolmens, among others. The prevailing final step was the practice of covering the site with a mound of stones and earth. This could result in long barrows, mounds or other structures, but the one thing they had in common was to elevate the top above the surrounding horizon. Using the surrounding ditch remaining from relocating the soil and rock, observers could note certain stars appearing over an "artificial horizon." North postulates a possible shift in focus from ancestors and stars to gods or spirits associated with the sun and moon. This "advance" in thinking resulted in stone monuments like Stonehenge in Britain and sites in Western Europe.

In tracing the growth of religious thinking and its manifestations in Neolithic Europe, North sees consistency without unity. What he does stress is the advanced thinking that must have been taking place during passing years. Wood and stone circles were positioned with uncanny accuracy to perform their tasks. He provides reconstruction drawings of many of the sites to display the limited fields of view they allowed. Peering along the post alignments, only a brief glimpse of rising or setting sun was available to the observer. Lintels, whether wood or stone, were designed to cut down on glare during sunrise or sunset observations. The graphics illustrating these points require careful study, but are rewarding for that.

Some of his contentions seem implausible. He uniformly places observers of stellar risings in ditches. If these were religious leaders, this would seem a diminution of priestly status not seen elsewhere. North has gone to considerable effort to demonstrate just how complex the sites are and what that says about the motivation and abilities of Neolithic peoples. How much of this effort is his, and how much derived from others is difficult to assess. There are frequent references to various authors in the text, but no direct citations. His "Bibliography" is by chapters and too vague to pursue sources without excessive toil. The appendices, on carbon dating, astronomical issues and geographical positioning are helpful, particularly if you have the maths. Overall, this is a useful book, even if it must be read with a sense of caution. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

John Colter: His Years in the Rockies
Published in Paperback by Univ of Nebraska Pr (1993)
Authors: Burton Harris and David Sievert Lavender
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An empty biography
Other than the little mention of Colter in the Lewis and Clark Expedition journals, there is no verifiable material for this biography. His life is a mystery and remains so, inspite of considerable effort by Burton Harris. If you are interested in the life of J Colter, sorry, its just not known and this book is a waste of time.

Yellowstone...Colter's Hell...geysers...Indians.... I found this book a total pleasure to read. Couldn't put it down! Although it is true that Colter's life was somewhat obscure by a lack of more historical documentation, Harris does an exemplary piece of work with what there is to work with. Citing such references as William Clark, Thomas James, Brackenridge, Bradbury and others, Harris does make a justifiable attempt to back up his story. Required reading for those into this time period of the early American West when mountain men roamed the wide open spaces, high mountain valleys and peaks. It must have been a tough, but very rewarding way of life...if you survived the perils and hardships of that day.

Midian Moab and Edom: The History and Archaeology of Late Bronze and Iron Age Jordon and North-West Arabia
Published in Hardcover by Sheffield Academic Pr (1983)
Authors: J.A. David, John F. A. Sawyer, and David J. A. Clines
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Interesting, though somewhat dry
This book is a collection eleven papers delivered at a University of London Institute of Archaeology symposium, in April of 1981. The first three chapters are on three sites: Buseirah (near Petra), Wadi el Hasa (north of Buseirah), and Iron Age burial practices throughout the Jordan area. The second section has papers on Tayma, Edomite and Midianite pottery. The third section, on metallurgy, contains the results of a lab reconstruction of an ancient copper smelting furnace, and a look at iron working and its perception in Biblical Israel. Section 4 is on Social and Political History subjects, with the first one being on the campaign against Moab in 2 Kings 3 (and the identification of the kings involved), the second examines the relationship between the Midianites and Ishmaelites, and the third paper discusses the extent of Midian holdings and the possibility that Gideon was a Midianite.

The font used make the text look like it was typed on a typewriter, with the illustrations being few and primitive. As for the articles, they are quite interesting, but sadly written in an academic style, which makes them less interesting to the casual reader. That said, the articles are quite interesting, and well worth reading. The papers I found most interesting in this book are Professor Khair Yassine’s took at Iron Age burial practices, and Professor John Sawyer’s look at iron in Biblical Israel. I found the latter work quite interesting.

Therefore, I give this book a rather qualified recommendation.

In the Country of the Enemy: The Civil War Reports of a Massachusetts Corporal (New Perspectives on the History of the South Series)
Published in Hardcover by University Press of Florida (T) (1999)
Authors: William C. Harris, Zenas T. Letters from the Forty-Fourth Regiment M.V.M.A. Haines, and John David Smith
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Archaeological field research in British Columbia : an annotated bibliography
Published in Unknown Binding by Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation, and Culture, Archaeology and Outdoor Recreation Branch, Resource Information Services Program ()
Author: John David McMurdo
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