Part one. The world as it was / by David Hurst Thomas. The long span of time ; Spreading out across America ; Middle American civilizations ; Native farming ingenuity ; Life of the plains and woodlands ; Indian Confederacies -- Part two. Blending worlds / by Jay Miller. The richness of a vast continent ; Confrontation in the "New " World ; The Southwest and Coastal California ; The Northeast ; The English and the Atlantic coast ; The Plains and the Northwest -- Part three. Expansion and exodus / by Richard White -- Making the world whole again ; Of furs, buffalo, and trade ; A precarious balance ; The shedding of blood ; Indian rebellion. Part four. Long threads / by Peter Nabokov. Native American at mid-century ; Embroiled in the white man's war ; Between violence and benevolence ; The closing in ; At the ebb point ; Glimmerings of sovereignty -- The twentieth century and beyond / by Philip J. Deloria. Being a twentieth-century Indian ; The Indian New Deal ; Termination ; Sovereignty ; What Indians can teach us -- Tribes by culture area and language family. "Dispossessed, of their ancestral homelands by successive invasions of Europeans, the first real Americans have long been cloaked in a veil of myth and legend that has hidden from us the true richness and diversity of Indian civilizations and cultures. This newly unfolding legacy represents an unparalleled body of untapped wisdom, which even now provides fresh perspectives on very modern problems. The astonishing reality of Indian history, presented here for the first time from the perspective of native Americans, will deepen our understanding of what it really means to be an American. The archaeological history of the native peoples of the Americas goes back more than 30,000 years. By the time Columbus landed in this "New" World, it was a very old world that already had seen entire civilizations rise and fall through the centuries. These linked continents were by then populated by some 75,000,000 people who spoke 2,000 distinct languages and had developed a rich diversity of separate cultures, all joined in trade by a venerable network that covered the entire northern continent. Here, in a fresh look at the Americas, is a view of this "new" world's magnificent sweep of history through the eyes of its original inhabitants. It is an inspiring story of their amazing adaptability to a challenging land, especially in the past five hundred years when native Americans were forced to cope with the introduction into their environment of the most rapacious predator they had ever faced: white European invaders. Spanning a thousand generations, from the time Ice Age man first set foot on this continent to the present, and beautifully written by five well-known authorities on Indian history and culture, this volume is lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps, and, the work of both historic and contemporary artists."--Publisher's description.