Memory Lands

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King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast

Christine M. DeLucia

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Noted historian Christine DeLucia offers a major reconsideration of the violent seventeenth-century conflict in northeastern America known as King Philip’s War, providing an alternative to Pilgrim-centric narratives that have conventionally dominated the histories of colonial New England. DeLucia grounds her study of one of the most devastating conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers in early America in five specific places that were directly affected by the crisis, spanning the Northeast as well as the Atlantic world. She examines the war’s effects on the everyday lives and collective mentalities of the region’s diverse Native and Euro-American communities over the course of several centuries, focusing on persistent struggles over land and water, sovereignty, resistance, cultural memory, and intercultural interactions. An enlightening work that draws from oral traditions, archival traces, material and visual culture, archaeology, literature, and environmental studies, this study reassesses the nature and enduring legacies of a watershed historical event.

Christine M. DeLucia is associate professor of history at Mount Holyoke College and lives in western Massachusetts.

“A brilliant exploration of the interweaving of past, present, and future, Memory Lands casts a fresh light on the maelstrom of violence now known as King Philip’s War. The landscape of New England will never look the same after reading this important and haunting book."—Karl Jacoby, author of Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History

"Having tromped through woods, swamps, and widely-flung archives, Christine DeLucia has produced a powerfully poetic study of the dynamic, frequently conflicting meanings of Indigenous and settler memoryscapes in New England."—Jean M. O'Brien, author of Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England

"A remarkable 'reopening' of the history of New England. Christine DeLucia turns our attention to the 'memoryscapes' in our midst, demanding reconsideration of the markers, monuments, objects and placeworlds that memorialize King Philip’s War, alongside the processes that alternatively repress and recover Indigenous histories of survivance."—Lisa Brooks, author of Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War

“The stories DeLucia uncovers are sure to fascinate readers interested in the long reach of colonial memory and how the past is remembered.”—Publishers Weekly

“DeLucia writes . . . with considerable attention and imagination.”—Wall Street Journal

"This book moves back and forth across time and place in order to weave together a dense and wide-ranging reconstruction of the war and its many continuing consequences."—Annette Kolodny, Native American and Indigenous Studies

"DeLucia’s eloquent writing style ?ows from one thought and place to the next effortlessly, bringing the reader along in her journey. . . . Readers are able to travel networks and memories over time, space, and generations, both Native and non-Native, and recognize the interwoven nature of our collective past."—D. Rae Gould, Winterthur Portfolio

“Useful and important. . . . In addition to the many details on the seventeenth century and people and events associated with King Philip’s War, the book’s scope and ability to connect people and places across the landscape will broaden readers’ understandings of New England, Native America and its colonial context and of how that context still exists. The book is a must for graduate students in these fields and should be a foundational text in seminars focused on (or including) this period and region or on methods of history-making, narratives, and even nationalism.”—D. Rae Gould, Winterthur Portfolio

“[This book] sets out to continue and deepen a tradition of revisionist historiography that began in the 1980s. . . . A major contribution to the field of colonial American history after the ‘linguistic turn.’. . . [It] powerfully illustrates the transformative effect that foregrounding Indigenous perspectives on the past and present can have for the ongoing construction of the American story.”—David j. Carlson, Early American Literature

Awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 National Council on Public History book prize

Winner of the 2019 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize, sponsored by the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians

Winner of the 2019 Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize, sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society

Winner of the Lois P. Rudnick Prize, sponsored by the New England American Studies Association
ISBN: 9780300201178
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
496 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
45 b/w illus.
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