Why did Elizabethan adventurers believe that the interior of America hid vast caches of gold? Who started the rumor that British officers purchased revolutionary white womenÃ¢ÂÂs scalps, packed them by the bale, and shipped them to their superiors? And why are people today still convinced that white settlersÃ¢ÂÂhardly immune as a group to the diseaseÃ¢ÂÂroutinely distributed smallpox-tainted blankets to the natives?
RumorÃ¢ÂÂspread by colonists and Native Americans alikeÃ¢ÂÂran rampant in early America. In Groundless, historian Gregory Evans Dowd explores why half-truths, deliberate lies, and outrageous legends emerged in the first place, how they grew, and why they were given such credence throughout the New World. Arguing that rumors are part of the objective reality left to us by the pastÃ¢ÂÂa kind of fragmentary archival recordÃ¢ÂÂhe examines how uncertain news became powerful enough to cascade through the centuries.
Drawing on specific case studies and tracing recurring rumors over many generations, Dowd explains the seductive power of unreliable stories in the eastern North American frontiers from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The rumors studied hereÃ¢ÂÂsome alluring, some frighteningÃ¢ÂÂcommanded attention and demanded action. They were all, by definition, groundless, but they were not all false, and they influenced the classic issues of historical inquiry: the formation of alliances, the making of revolutions, the expropriation of labor and resources, and the origins of war.
Pricing is shown for items sent to or within the U.S., excluding shipping and tax. Please consult the store to determine exact fees. No warranties are made express or implied about the accuracy, timeliness, merit, or value of the information provided. Information subject to change without notice. isbn.nu is not a bookseller, just an information source.