so uses statistics to prove the point that diseases imported by Europeans were responsible for wiping out ˘hundreds of thousands÷ of Indians and others in the Americas (p. 25). Norton (et al., 2000) also uses statistics to demonstrate the primitive navigation and mapping skills of European invaders, such as the difference between the 3,000 miles Columbus felt separated the continents and the more accurate 12,000 miles projected by many others of the era (p. 18).
There are a few unanswered questions, with some even highlighted by the author, with respect to European invasion and the devastation wrought on indigenous peoples of the Americas. For example, the Spanish explorer Soto was known for his brutality toward native villages he encountered. Cofitachequi used her brains and instincts to survive the invasion of Soto, helping save her people and village in the process. However, Lady Cofitachequi greeted Soto in a kindly manner and led him away from her people before escaping. Yet the reason why she did so remains unknown, but, as Norton (et al., 2000) maintains, ˘Whatever her reasoning, the strategy worked: Soto and his men moved on, and although they destroyed other villages and peoples, Cofitachequi survived to be recorded by Spanish, French, and finally English visitors÷ (p. 4).
In sum, the chapter does an excellent job of illustrating how the initial contact of Europeans with indigenous cultures of the Americas was one-sided and devastating to the indigenous cultures of the Americas. The chapter is very complete, providing both insights and explanations of all cultures of the Americas and Europe involved in these initial exchanges. The chapter is also complete in provided an objective and balanced viewpoint of these initial exchanges from the perspective of both Europeans and cultures of the Americas. The chapter demonstrates that many of the social relations, economic, religious, and political structures of the modern Americas were influenced duri