Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Last Reading for the Semester

Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life by Herbert Pleij; trans. Diane Webb (2001)
Meh. It was interesting...and then it got long and rambling and repetitive. I'm not really even sure what the thesis was, but the book was basically just examining any aspect of medieval life possible to examine in relation with Cockaigne texts (major emphasis on Dutch ones) for 400+ pages. If you're interested in the subject, perhaps just read the first bit of this and then skim the rest?

Chiefdoms, Collapse, and Coalescence in the Early American South by Robin Beck (Jun. 2013)
This was right up my alley because it's specifically about the Native American groups that became the Catawba in the Piedmont Carolinas, and Beck has worked with the Berry Site (Xuala/Joara & Ft. San Juan) in Burke County, N.C. It's the most recent research on this region/time period, seems to be well done, but there were some new ways Beck interpreted the sources, especially on migrations and group continuities between some of the population movements, that appeared to my little untrained eyes possibly questionable.

Little Crow: Spokesman for the Sioux by Gary Anderson (1986)
This biography takes a "life and times" approach for various parts of Little Crow's life, since there's not always that much info directly pertaining to him. I'm not a huge fan of biographies, but this was interesting, at least, and I definitely learned more about Dakota life in the mid-19th century and specifically the Dakota War of 1862. I didn't really catch on to all the differences between Dakota, Lakota, Sioux, and individual bands, though, which could get confusing.

No comments:

Post a Comment