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Monday, March 14, 2011

People of the Longhouse by W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear

A tale of North American Natives and the harsh realities of their often cruel world.
The Gears successfully combine history, archeology, sociology and fiction. They portray the Iroquoians as normal folks facing the pressures of their time. The interesting aspect is that humans react to stress in similar ways across the centuries.

Due to the Gears archeological roots, their books have a sense of authenticity missing in similar novels. They show that human interaction is just that, interaction. That interaction clearly shows that the same motivations that fuel today’s international tensions motivated the tribal warfare around AD 1000.

The Gears portrayal of the parental frustration and guilt in Gonda and Koracoo was painfully poignant. The fear of the children was clearly portrayed. In short, they do a masterful job depicting human emotion with clarity.

The small things like noting Towa’s eye sight and his inability to hit his target with a bow. Things we take for granted such as eye glasses obviously weren’t available at that time. Noting the impact on an individual in a warrior society enhances the depth of the tale.

Regardless of whether the roots of democratic society and human interaction may date from this time, it would have been a brutal life. I enjoyed the portrayal and am glad I didn’t have to live it.

I strongly recommend the book!

Body of work of W. Michael Gear

Body of work of Kathleen O’Neal Gear

Web site: http://www.gear-gear.com/

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