|Pages/Publication Date:||431 / 2016|
From the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent, yet it was practiced for centuries as an open secret, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering book, a Bancroft Prize winner and National Book Award finalist. Tens of thousands of Native Americans were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, and Reséndez builds a convincing case that it was mass slavery—more than epidemics—that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, the book uncovers a major gap of American history.
"Every now and then a new book comes along that throws a switch on our historical valences and makes us see ourselves anew. [This] is one such book. Much as Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee did when it first appeared in the early 1970s, Andrés Reséndez's carefully sifted work fundamentally reshapes our understanding of a great enduring mystery: What really accounts for the swift and tragic demise of our continent's indigenous peoples?"—Hampton Sides