Red Gold (book review) John Hemming

191115: effect of european contact on technologically primitive peoples throughout the world from 1500 to 1750?

short answer: not good.

long answer: this book. at least on the evidence of portuguese, some french, dutch, spaniards, on the native populations of brazil, with the usual pattern of happy greeting, happy trading, followed by enslavement (red gold is here 'indian' bodies), war, disease, disease, war... religious schooling, european settlers, enslaving populace... war, disease, war, disease... genocide, genocide, cultural obliteration, deception, betrayal, lying in all its forms. and who will write your history when you are gone? this is a long book, an unhappy history, academic perhaps, certainly well-researched(150 pages of notes), which stimulates me to think of who/what i would have been in such times, in such places- as native, as trader, as explorer, as european settler, as corrupt governor, as earnest member of european religious order...

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