856 Biography 33.4 (Fall 2010) Jean M. O’Brien. Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010. 269 pp. ISBN 978- 0816665785, $25.00. Much has been written about the narratives of entitlement through which European-Americans, beginning with their ﬁ rst contacts with indigenous people, explained and justiﬁ ed their displacement of Native Americans. Fol- lowing Roy Harvey Pearce and Robert Berkhofer, a signiﬁ cant number of scholars have helped to document the rhetorical strategies and maneuvers used to produce a uniﬁ ed national narrative that granted ownership of both the past and the future of the United States to its white occupants. In First- ing and Lasting, Jean M. O’Brien has extended that project in very productive and fascinating ways by examining the crucial local frameworks—primarily town histories—that contributed to the formation of the national narrative, nourished it, and allowed it to survive. O’Brien has limited her study to southern New England, which made it possible for her to do an exhaustive study of extant local history sources for the area, most of them produced in the middle of the nineteenth century. Her research has unearthed ample evidence, remarkable in the
Biography – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 23, 2011
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