American Indians: Summer Issue of History Now Available

New York, NY (June 30, 2011)—The latest issue of History Now, American Indians,” is here, examining the diversity of North American cultures and the complex, violent period of American colonization. Leading scholars Elliott West, Edward Countryman, Timothy R. Pauketat, Theda Perdue, Matthew Dennis, and William E. White are featured in this issue of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s quarterly online journal for history teachers and students.

The essays in this issue explore the sophisticated structures and traditions of Native American cultures before the arrival of European settlers, and the ensuing centuries of diplomacy and conflict as colonists expanded west, permanently altering, displacing, or eradicating local populations along the way. Essays include Elliott West’s “The Impact of Horse Culture,” which illustrates the complexities of cultural exchanges by examining the introduction of the domesticated horse into Native American culture, and Timothy Pauketat’s “Cahokia: A Pre-Columbian American Indian City,” which investigates the advanced Cahokian civilization that flourished in Illinois one thousand years ago and its mysterious decline. The historians focus on the perspective of Native Americans rather than the perspective of those who colonized the Americas in order to dispel the stereotype of the “Noble Savage,” and to instead illustrate the rich and diverse history of American Indian civilizations.

Edited by celebrated historian Carol Berkin, History Now is an indispensable online journal for history teachers and students. Essays are accompanied by suggested print and online readings as well as links to primary resources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection and archives throughout the nation, presented by Mary-Jo Kline, History Now’s archivist.

An integral part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s promotion of the study and love of American history, all issues of History Now are available for free to classrooms.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization supporting the study and love of American history through a wide range of programs and resources for students, teachers, scholars, and history enthusiasts throughout the nation. Gilder Lehrman creates and works closely with history-focused schools through its Affiliate School Program; organizes teacher seminars and development programs; produces print and digital publications and traveling exhibitions; hosts lectures by eminent historians; administers a History Teacher of the Year Award in every state and US territory; and offers national book prizes. The Gilder Lehrman website,, serves as a gateway to American history online with rich resources for educators designed specifically for K–12 teachers and students.