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The Middle Ground
Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815

2nd Edition

$39.99 (P)

Part of Studies in North American Indian History

  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521183444

$ 39.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • An acclaimed book and widely acknowledged classic, The Middle Ground steps outside the simple stories of Indian-white relations – stories of conquest and assimilation and stories of cultural persistence. It is, instead, about a search for accommodation and common meaning. It tells how Europeans and Indians met, regarding each other as alien, as other, as virtually nonhuman, and how between 1650 and 1815 they constructed a common, mutually comprehensible world in the region around the Great Lakes that the French called pays d'en haut. Here the older worlds of the Algonquians and of various Europeans overlapped, and their mixture created new systems of meaning and of exchange. Finally, the book tells of the breakdown of accommodation and common meanings and the re-creation of the Indians as alien and exotic. First published in 1991, the 20th anniversary edition includes a new preface by the author examining the impact and legacy of this study.

    • New preface for the 2nd edition
    • An account of the interactions between Europeans and Native Americans during this crucial phase in American history
    • Impressive chronological and geographic scope covered
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'White's work is also perfect for historians who are themselves looking into more information and research on the Natives' lives during the colonial era … White enchants all; I could not put this book down when I began reading it. The final verdict: Recommend.' Joshua Chanin, Reviewer’s Bookwatch (

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521183444
    • length: 576 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.76kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 4 maps 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Refugees: a world made of fragments
    2. The middle ground
    3. The fur trade
    4. The alliance
    5. Republicans and rebels
    6. The clash of empires
    7. Pontiac and the restoration of the middle ground
    8. The British alliance
    9. The contest of villagers
    10. Confederacies
    11. The politics of benevolence

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Colloquium in US Colonial History
    • Colloquium: U.S. History to 1877
    • Colonial and Revolutionary United States
    • Imperialism
    • Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes
    • Native American Cultural and Economic History
    • Native Americans in the Modern World
  • Author

    Richard White, Stanford University, California
    Richard White holds the Margaret Byrne Professorship in American History at Stanford University, California and is widely regarded as one of the nation's leading scholars in three related fields: the American West, Native American history and environmental history. Professor White is the author of five books. The first edition of The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815 (1991) was named a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Among other honors, he is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

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