The Truth about the First Thanksgiving

James W. Loewen.


Considering that virtually none of the standard fare surrounding Thanksgiving contains an ounce of authenticity, historical accuracy, or cross-cultural perception, why is it so apparently ingrained? Is it necessary to the American psyche to perpetually exploit and debase its victims in order to justify its history?

Michael Dorris

European explorers and invaders discovered an inhabited land. Had it been pristine wilderness then, it would possibly be so still, for neither the technology nor the social organization of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries had the capacity to maintain, of its own resources, outpost colonies thousands of miles from home.

Francis Jennings

The Europeans were able to conquer America not because of their military genius, or their religious motivation, or their ambition, or their greed. They conquered it by waging unpremeditated biological warfare.

Howard Simpson

It is painful to advert to these things. But our forefathers, though wise, pious, and sincere, were nevertheless, in respect to Christian charity, under a cloud; and, in history, truth should be held sacred, at whatever cost... especially against the narrow and futile patriotism, which, instead of pressing forward in pursuit of truth, takes pride in walking backwards to cover the slightest nakedness of our forefathers.

—Col. Thomas Aspinwall

Over the last few years, I have asked hundreds of college students, „When was the country we now know as the United States first settled?“ This is a generous way of phrasing the question; surely „we now know as“ implies that the original settlement antedated the founding of the United States. I initially believed—certainly, I had hoped—that students would suggest 30,000 B.C. or some other pre-Columbian date.

They did not. Their consensus answer was „1620.“

Obviously, my students’ heads have been filled with America’s origin myth, the story of the first Thanksgiving. Textbooks are among the retailers of this primal legend.

Namen und Art der Götter

Wolfgang Golther.

Odin, der Göttervater

Zum Gottesbegriff kann nur ein höher veranlagtes, geistig fortgeschrittenes Volk gelangen. Zweifellos sind die religiösen Grundlagen oft dieselben wie beim Geisterglauben, ein Zusammenhang zwischen Gott und Naturgeist ist nicht abzuleugnen.

Fertility Control and the Birth of the Modern European Fairy-Tale Heroine

Ruth B. Bottigheimer.

Between 1500 and 1700, that is, during most of the early modem period, girls’ and women’s roles in tale collections shifted dramatically in ways that set the stage for the emergence of the modern fairy-tale heroine. At the beginning of this period novella heroines held their own against a world brimming with antagonists, using mother wit to sustain their social and sexual independence. Two centuries later, girls had become frightened damsels, their mothers had retreated into the shadows, and maids and sisters who had formerly lent their mistresses a helping hand had disappeared. Since Alice Clark’s pathbreaking 1919 study, The Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century, historians and literary critics have more often than not attributed the kinds of changes I discuss here to the advent of capitalism. In turning to recent studies in women’s history, sex, sexuality, and family formation to attempt to decipher this remarkable and complex literary phenomenon, this essay represents a fundamental departure in efforts to interpret the status of historical literary heroines.