Home › Explore Smithsonian › History and Culture
Share this page

North American Indians: Books to Start With

These books are about Indians before European contact.

Kopper, Philip. The Smithsonian Book of North American Indians Before the Coming of the Europeans. 1986. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Mann, Charles G. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. 2005. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

While most include some information about pre-contact times and about modern times, these books focus mainly on the historic period.

Fleet, Cameron, editor. First Nations - Firsthand: A History of 500 Years of Encounter, War, & Peace Inspired by the Eyewitnesses. 1997. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books.

Josephy, Alvin M., Jr. 500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians. 2002. New York: Gramercy Books.

Page, Jake. In the Hands of the Great Spirit: The 20,000-Year History of American Indians. 2003. New York: Free Press.

Thomas, David Hurst, et al. The Native Americans: An Illustrated History. 1993. Atlanta: Turner Publishing, Inc.

Viola, Herman J. After Columbus: The Smithsonian Chronicle of the North American Indians. 1990. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. / New York: Orion Books.

Wright, Ronald. Stolen Continents: The "New World" Through Indian Eyes. 1992. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

America's Fascinating Indian Heritage. 1978. Pleasantville, NY: The Reader's Digest Association.

Through Indian Eyes: The Untold Story of Native American Peoples. 1995. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Books.

These books provide basic information.

Lippert, Dorothy L. (Choctaw), & Stephen J. Spignesi. Native American History for Dummies. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing.

Russell, George L. (Saginaw Chippewa). American Indian Facts of Life. 2004. Phoenix, AZ: Native Data.Com.

Utter, Jack. American Indians: Answers to Today's Questions. Revised edition 2001. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Do All Indians Live In Tipis? Questions & Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian . 2007. New York: Harper Collins, in association with the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.

These books are about the Indian impact on the world.

Weatherford, Jack. Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. 1988. New York: Fawcett Columbine.

Weatherford, Jack. Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America. 1991. New York: Fawcett Columbine.

These books are about recent times.

Josephy, Alvin M., Jr. Now That the Buffalo's Gone: A Study of Today's American Indians. 1984. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Hirschfelder, Arlene, & Martha Kreipe de Montaño (Prairie Band Potawatomi). The Native American Almanac: A Portrait of Native America Today. 1998. Somerset, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Winds of Renewal. By the Editors of Time-Life Books. 1996. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books.

These books are for children.

Brown, Tricia. Children of the Midnight Sun: Young Native Voices of Alaska. Photos by Roy Corral.1998. Portland, OR: Alaska Northwest Books. Any age.

Hakim, Joy. The First Americans. 1993, 2002. New York: Oxford University Press. Ages 12 and up.

Harvey, Karen D., & Lisa D. Harjo (Choctaw). Indian Country: A History of Native People in America. 1994. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing. Ages 12 and up.

Hirschfelder, Arlene. Happily May I Walk: American Indians & Alaska Natives Today. 1986. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Ages 10 and up

Katz, William Loren. Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage. 1986. New York: Simon & Schuster. Ages 13 and up.

Konig, Hans. Columbus: His Enterprise; Exploding the Myth. 1976, 1992. New York: Monthly Review Press. Ages 12 and up.

Konig, Hans. The Conquest of America: How the Indian Nations Lost Their Continent. 1993. New York: Monthly Review Press. Ages 12 and up.

Ortiz, Simon J. (Acoma). The People Shall Continue. Illustrated by Sharol Graves.1994. San Francisco: Children's Book Press. Ages 6 and up.

Viola, Herman J. After Columbus: The Horse's Return to America. Illustrated by Deborah Howland. 1992. Norwalk, CT: Trudy Management Company, Soundprints Division. A Smithsonian Wild Heritage book. Ages 6 and up.

Waldman, Carl. Timelines of Native American History. Illustrated by Molly Braun. 1994. New York: Prentice Hall General Reference. Ages 10 and up.

Prepared by the National Museum of the American Indian,
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services,
Smithsonian Institution. 2007


Smithsonian Information
202.633.1000 (voice)


Terms of Use | Privacy