The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975

Book Reviews
ROBERT A. CALVERT, Editor
North American Indians: An Anthropological Perspective. By William W.
Newcomb, Jr. (Pacific Palisades, California: Goodyear Publishing
Co., 1974. Pp. ix+278. Maps, bibliography index. $4.95-)
The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains. By Preston Holder. (Lincoln: Uni-
versity of Nebraska Press, 1974. Pp. xii+I76. Illustrations, introduc-
tion, bibliography, index. $2.95.)
Index to Literature on the American Indian, 1972. Edited by Jeannette
Henry. (San Francisco: The Indian Historian Press, Inc., 1974. Pp.
vi+354. Introduction. $4-95.)
People with interest in native Americans will welcome these three books.
North American Indian is a "concise introduction" for "students and gen-
eral readers" (p. vii), written from knowledge currently available in an-
thropological field notes and secondary sources about the Indian tribes of
the United States and Canada (excluding Eskimos and Aleuts). An intro-
ductory chapter deals, in a general way, with the origins, estimated popu-
lations, cultural development, and linquistic patterns of the North American
tribes. The next nine chapters describe nine different culture types, such
as southeastern farmers, and plains bison hunters. Each contains a map
which identifies the tribes of a "culture area" (p. 17), plus a description
of their environmental setting, a summary of information available about
their prehistoric lives, a brief account of their first contacts with non-
Indians, and a substantial description of the cultural patterns they developed
before they failed in the "maelstrom of European invasion" (p. 233) during
early modern history. The culture-pattern description is the main feature
in each chapter, for it contains detailed information about subsistence,
material values, social proclivities, political institutions, military activities,
and religious beliefs. Following these nine chapters, Newcomb strives to
draw together a "rainbow assortment" (p. 233) of cultural knowledge in
a "comparative summary" (p. 227) by identifying some central themes
in the anthropological history of North American Indians, and calling
attention to legacies which they have left to the whole society of the
United States.
North American Indians has several defects which will provoke criticism

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed April 1, 2015.