Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma by Camilla Townsend
The American Portraits Series (American Portrait Series)

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Camilla Townsend's stunning new book differs from all previous biographies of Pocahontas in capturing how similar seventeenth century Native Americans were--in the way they saw, understood, and struggled to control their world---not only to the invading British but to ourselves.

Neither naïve nor innocent, Indians like Pocahontas and her father, the powerful king Powhatan, confronted the vast might of the English with sophistication, diplomacy, and violence. Indeed, Pocahontas's life is a testament to the subtle intelligence that Native Americans, always aware of their material disadvantages, brought against the military power of the colonizing English. Resistance, espionage, collaboration, deception: Pocahontas's life is here shown as a road map to Native American strategies of defiance exercised in the face of overwhelming odds and in the hope for a semblance of independence worth the name.

Townsend's Pocahontas emerges--as a young child on the banks of the Chesapeake, an influential noblewoman visiting a struggling Jamestown, an English gentlewoman in London--for the first time in three-dimensions; allowing us to see and sympathize with her people as never before.


About Camilla Townsend

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Camilla Townsend lives in Hamilton, New York, and is an associate professor of history at Colgate University. She is the author of Tales of Two Cities: Race and Economic Culture in Early Republican North and South America.
Published September 7, 2005 by Hill and Wang. 244 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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Not only did a love-struck Pocahontas not throw herself before John Smith and save his life, but she probably didn't even like him much.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Pocahontas and the Powhatan D...

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