New Worlds for Old

By William Brandon,

Book cover of New Worlds for Old: Reports from the New World and Their Effect on the Development of Social Thought in Europe, 1500-1800

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1 author picked New Worlds for Old as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

We know that the arrival of Europeans in the Americas had significant impacts, many of them negative, on the peoples of the New World. Encounters with Amerindians were also highly influential in shaping ideas about human development and universal history. It was not a one-way street, however, reports from missionaries, trappers, explorers, soldiers, and settlers about what they saw in the New World served to challenge and shape the thinking of Europe’s intellectual elite, especially concerning Native American ideas about freedom, equality, and community. Thirty-five years after the publication of this book, Graeber and Wengrow returned to the idea of…

From Brett's list on humankind’s place in history.

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