The Great Circle
A History of the First Nations
By Neil Philip
(Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780618159413, 153pp.)
Publication Date: August 2006
The Lakota holy man Black Elk often used the image of a circle or hoop when he spoke of the history of his people, stating that the power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round.” This chronicle of the principal Indian tribes in North America echoes that vision.
Folklorist Neil Philip examines the shared experience of many of the First Nations, from their separate existences before whites arrived, to their years of struggle and heartbreak, to the present-day resurgence of their cultures. The attitudes of Native American leaders toward land, society, and spiritual matters are contrasted with those of their white contemporaries; photographs, personal testimony, eyewitness detail, and excerpts from speeches by leadersincluding Native American chiefs and holy men, and white politicians and military officersdocument the resulting cycles of misunderstanding and conflict based on differing world views.
Drawing on the records of both white Americans and First Nations peoples, Neil Philip has created a carefully researched, compact account of Native American history that focuses not only on past injustices but also on the positive outlook for the future. Source notes, bibliography, index.
Neil Philip is a noted folklorist and anthologist who has written several books on Native American and multicultural themes for Clarion, including IN A SACRED MANNER I LIVE, which was named both a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in England.
"An enriching and eye-opening must-purchase." School Library Journal, Starred
"Solid research, an engaging writing style...fascinating." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Useful as research material." Horn Book Guide