Indian Givers

How Native Americans Transformed the World

Author Jack Weatherford, an anthropologist, traces the crucial contributions made by Native Americans to our federal system of government, our democratic institutions, modern medicine, agriculture, architecture, ecology and more. This ground-breaking book makes a deep sweep of history seem vital and immediate. It is both entertaining and thoughtful.
351 pages. ©2010.
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Reader Reviews for this Book

Duckman85

Review posted May 8, 2019

4

I have to admit, I thought Indian Givers was going to be a dry intellectual discourse about the impact that indigenous tribes have made on the world. I was completely surprised when reading this book by Jack Weatherford. The information was shared in a very readable prose style, which allows the reader to engage both the rational and creative aspects of his writing. I recommend this as a book that gives a insightful perspective on how the world is made better because of Native Americans and their creative, innovative and spiritual culture.

realestate

Review posted May 7, 2019

5

interesting book. Gives you a different perspective..things you never realized there is another side

jasasil

Review posted May 7, 2019

3

I found generally interesting information in this book mostly about the agriculture of the Americas. Had hoped that the book would focus more on US Indian culture as it relates to us today. Felt the book was hard to read as it jumped through time for each subject, would have preferred more chronological picture of the total contribution to our modern uses of the past knowledge of the Indian practices.

[email protected]

Review posted April 30, 2019

4

This was a fascinating read. I found it to be a bit of a slow start, but the chapters on healing, food, and drugs were especially interesting and enlightening. My eyes were opened!

betz

Review posted April 23, 2019

5

This is an amazing book, that traces some of our common terms as well as many of our democracy's' roots. Very easy read, and enlightening.

[email protected]

Review posted April 22, 2019

3

There is a lot of history in this book. I thought it would be more about Native American history but feel that the book digresses into much more.

Krismaer

Review posted April 17, 2019

5

“The discovery of America sparked a revolution in food and cuisine that has not yet shown any signs of abating.” I received this book from the Ford Family Foundation for free as long as I was willing to review it. I am happily fulfilling my obligation. This is the story of the many benefits the world received when they discovered America. I think we all know about the many foods like tomatoes, avocadoes and pecans they gave us. How many of us know about the medicinal contributions like aspirin, or growing vegetable benefits like putting in fish heads along with the seed when planting? My favorite new thing I learned was that our government and constitution contain many items that the Native Indians used in their confederacies, including one man, one vote. Ben Franklin was a student of their governing style when he was in charge of the Indians in his district. He brought a lot of their ideas to include in our constitution. This was a fascinating history of the many benefits we gained from the native tribes that lived in the Americas. I think it is about time they got their due.

Drtsaelee

Review posted April 12, 2019

5

This book holds a wealth of historical and socio-cultural information about how indigenous people have shaped our food industry, pharmaceutical industry and retail industrial. It was nice to know where words such as "jerky" and "BBQ" came from. I highly recommend this book for anyone how loves history and culture. With any accurate recount of Native Americans and Indigenous people, there are graphic recounts of the realities of colonization, war and slavery.

heatherg

Review posted April 8, 2019

4

Not quite what I was expecting, but still a good read.

JenniferKalez

Review posted April 2, 2019

4

At first I balked a bit at the title of this book, as “Indian giver” is an offensive term to Native Americans. But it’s a well-written piece, that dives deep in a number of areas about Native American history and culture — and how they have influenced the country we know today. It is worth the read.

DBowling

Review posted February 10, 2019

3

Super informative, but kinda boring.

tree

Review posted January 9, 2019

4

I thought this book was great. Very accessibly written, provides a lot of interesting information. Each chapter covers a different topic, such as agriculture, architecture, medicine, etc. and outlines the huge contributions made by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Personally the story i found most interesting was about the Creek people of the southeast US and how their leader successfully held off incursions by the British, French, Americans & Spanish around them by playing them off against each other, and then the cultural movement that arose (called the Red Sticks) after that leader died.

WMSTONE

Review posted December 20, 2018

3

This book was initially difficult for me to "get into," perhaps because it began with financial activities. However, it was ultimately fascinating the areas of our current world we owe thanks for to Native Americans.

Kaisnp

Review posted December 15, 2018

5

I got this book intending to give it away when I was finished to an aunt. After reading it I got my aunt her own because it was too good. It reminded me of the book Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt with the way it was written. I learned a great deal about ingeniousness people across the globe.

weschmidt56

Review posted December 2, 2018

5

Well put together. I enjoyed reading this very much as I do all of the publications offered by the Ford Family Foundation. Thank you William Schmidt

Taylorvanr

Review posted November 20, 2018

5

I was so thankful to add this book to my collection on Native American culture and sociology. I myself am a Modoc Native of Klamath Falls. I have known for a long time just how great the native Americans were. But I didn’t know exactly how much they changed European culture itself. 5 stars!

Books4me

Review posted November 9, 2018

3

This is a very informative book, not a leisurely book, very educational

egronert

Review posted November 2, 2018

4

Great read!

stokesfolks

Review posted November 2, 2018

5

I enjoyed reading about the origin of so many everyday things, especially the foods we currently enjoy. Who knew that America contributed so generously to the cuisine enjoyed throughout the whole world? I suppose, because of the beautiful illustration on the cover, I was expecting the book to focus more on the Indians who live in the United States. instead, it seemed to be more about the history of the people south of the US. I learned a lot about the metal mining and how the other established countries of the world ransacked the Americas and killed the inhabitants, either through murder or by making slave laborers out of them. If you enjoy reading about the origin of modern life, you'll like this book.

Dione Jordan

Review posted October 30, 2018

3

Great!

mzamarripa

Review posted October 22, 2018

2

This book was an interesting read. Well covered about Indians and history of our early natives.

Niki Price

Review posted October 15, 2018

5

REALLY learned a lot from this book -- especially the discussion of urban planning, and the author's thoughts on democracy as an Indian concept.

bkerensa

Review posted October 1, 2018

5

Really useful book

4hasketts

Review posted September 20, 2018

4

I really enjoyed and appreciated reading this book. My knowledge on the Native American history was minor compared to what this book offered me. I have a much better understanding of the culture especially relating to the farming/land use, medical and governance structure.

AshleyG

Review posted September 14, 2018

4

I found book "Indian Givers" to be both thoughtful and entertaining. The author manages to keep the reader engaged while sometimes discussing sensitive material. It wasn't a book I would normally choose for myself to read, but I'm very glad that I chose to pick it up!

gped511

Review posted September 3, 2018

5

Jack Weatherford is truly a master of his craft and is a premier historian and anthropologist. This work is just as compelling as his Genghis Khan book, as it is well researched and professionally stated. Weatherford embraces Native American culture and ties that culture into the frame of the larger world. Native American culture has had a significant impact on the formation of American cultural, social, and political practices. Weatherford certainly provides a credit to that historical fact.

pennielayn

Review posted August 22, 2018

4

Good read, good information

dougsannes

Review posted August 12, 2018

3

Interesting read.

[email protected]

Review posted August 2, 2018

5

This a an amazingly insightful look at a very whitewashed part of the story of the Americas. I

[email protected]

Review posted July 22, 2018

5

This was an eye-opening perspective on how the Native American culture shaped our world.

constantinobenjamin

Review posted July 20, 2018

5

highly recommend

mkellner097

Review posted July 11, 2018

5

I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Native Americans and what they have contributed to this country.

jch8725

Review posted June 20, 2018

4

Indian Givers was a great read. As a Native American myself, the title intrigued me as well as made me wonder as "Indian Giver" generally has a negative stigma attached to it, but all in all it was super informative and I learned a lot

Sebastian

Review posted June 6, 2018

5

This book is an excellent read about the great contributions of the native peoples of America to modern American culture. It offers a perspective of history that is often obscured--if not utterly neglected--in our parochial educational system.

Loriann848

Review posted May 31, 2018

4

So much knowledge stuffed into the pages. It is Well written, yet a bit hard handling the volume of detail. Specifically naming every Mountain, near City, roads and rivers close by. Do not let the names and lack of pronunciations deter you. It is engrossing and an overall pleasure.

gotchyaok

Review posted May 21, 2018

3

This book is a very thorough journey through Indian history. At times, a bit too informative but informative non the least. I was expecting more of a novel.