A History of the Mandan People
Elizabeth A. Fenn
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History
Most of us have never heard of the Mandans, and yet the Mandan villages of the upper Missouri were a bustling, prosperous, hub of trade and commerce by the middle of the 18th century. Food, trade, and culture; Native American and European visitors, all passed through their densely settled towns. Commercial ties stretched from New Mexico to Hudson Bay. Lewis and Clark wintered with the Mandans in 1804 on their way west and a Mandan chief, Sheheke, accompanied them back to Washington in 1806.
Encounters at the Heart of the World revises what we think we know about early American history by shifting our attention from the English-speaking east coast and revising our understanding of the Native American past. Venturing into the period before Lewis and Clark, it offers us a vision of a people that will enrich the way we think about ourselves and our history.