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History Guides - Lafayette


This section will look at at the history of the nations which make up the North American continent*.

*For specific periods within the history of the United States, please see that page on the LibGuide

Selected Books - Reviews

  • El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America, published in 2019, by Carrie Gibson takes an interesting and overarching look at the important role which Spanish speaking peoples played on the history of North America. What many North Americans have forgotten is that, though English is the commonly spoken language currently, this was not the case during the early days of exploration and settlement. While this book does look a little at the indigenous populations which were present when the Spanish began their expansion across the continent, much of the focus is on later generations of individuals who, although of indigenous heritage, spoke Spanish and participated in certain societal customs. The author does point out that the conquistadores and Spanish missions were not necessarily positive things in the lives of those they encountered or ruled. This is treated as one part of a much larger story, one which spans centuries. While the history of, specifically, the United States, tends to focus very closely on its early history centered on the thirteen original colonies, the actual history of the lands which now make up the United States is much more diverse. This includes a large swath of land which has a traditional heritage that is itself colored by conflicting histories and complex landscapes, that of Spanish North America. This is a book which would be interesting reading for someone who wanted to learn more about the non-English history of the United States. It also offers the chance to see what happens when part of an empire is subsumed by another nation: what happens to the people who were living in that area? How do they adapt? How are they viewed or treated by those who have taken over from their previous rulers or government? This is all part of the history of this continent which has been both overlooked and also undervalued. 

Print Books