This fascinating survey blends anthropology and military history to reexamine the European invasion of North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Tracing conflicts beginning with King Philip's War in New England and ending with the conquest of Indians in the Old Northwest, Armstrong Strakey shows the evolution of both Indian and European warfare methods during this turbulent period.
Rather than considering military history as an isolated phenomenon, Starkey describes military encounters as only one aspect of a more fundamental conflict of cultures. Drawing on recent scholarship in ethnohistory, Starkey dismantles numerous stereotypes of Indian and European warriors and methods of warfare. He shows that Indians and Europeans were allies as frequently as they were enemies and that the most successful European fighters were those who adopted the Indian way of war as their own. Thus, according to the author, the story of European and Native American warfare is as much one of cultural exchanges as cultural conflict.
Armstrong Starkey is a Professor of History and Provost at Adelphi University, New York.