OVERRIDE

Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma

The American Portraits Series

Camilla Townsend

Hill and Wang

Camilla Townsend's stunning new book differs from all previous biographies of Pocahontas in the way it shrewdly captures how similar 17th-century Native Americans were—in their efforts to live in, understand, and control their world—not only to the invading English, but also 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 shown here as a roadmap of Native American strategies of defiance exercised in the face of overwhelming odds and in the hope of 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.

REVIEWS

Praise for Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma

Praise for Pocahontas and the Pohatan Dilemma:

"Camilla Townsend, who writes with a sharp sword and a crackling whip, refuses to believe anything just because so many people have repeated it." ---Harper's Magazine

'What Camilla Townsend does in Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma is to sift with care through all the written records she could find - her bibliography is impressive - and skillfully piece together a plausible picture of a brave, intelligent young woman and her eventful, if brief, life." ---John M. and Priscilla S. Taylor, The Washington Times

"This captivating book is ideal for anyone interested in the true story of Pocahontas, as well as historians and students interested in early Colonial American history." Simone Bonim, History in Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Camilla Townsend

  • 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.
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    Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma

    The American Portraits Series

    Camilla Townsend

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    Hill and Wang

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