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About Brian DeLay
Brian DeLay received his PhD from Harvard University and taught for several years at the University of Colorado before moving to the University of California at Berkeley, where he is now an Associate Professor of History. He is the author of the award-winning War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War (Yale University Press, 2008), editor of North American Borderlands (Routledge, 2012), and coauthor of the U.S. history textbooks Experience History (2010) and U.S./A Narrative History (2011), both published by McGraw-Hill.
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In the early 1830s, after decades of relative peace, northern Mexicans and the Indians whom they called “the barbarians” descended into a terrifying cycle of violence. For the next fifteen years, owing in part to changes unleashed by American expansion, Indian warriors launched devastating attacks across ten Mexican states. Raids and counter-raids claimed thousands of lives, ruined much of northern Mexico’s economy, depopulated its countryside, and left man-made “deserts” in place of thriving settlements. Just as important, this vast interethnic war informed and emboldened U.S. arguments in favor of seizing Mexican territory while leaving northern Mexicans too divided, exhausted, and distracted to resist the American invasion and subsequent occupation.
Exploring Mexican, American, and Indian sources ranging from diplomatic correspondence and congressional debates to captivity narratives and plains Indians’ pictorial calendars, War of a Thousand Deserts recovers the surprising and previously unrecognized ways in which economic, cultural, and political developments within native communities affected nineteenth-century nation-states. In the process this ambitious book offers a rich and often harrowing new narrative of the era when the United States seized half of Mexico’s national territory.
Experience History emphasizes that history is not a collection of facts, but is "interpreted" from the detective work of historians examining the past's evidence. Utilizing an active learning environment that only an online solution can provide, Experience History gives students the opportunity to examine primary sources and explores specific periods and events. The leads to greater understanding as well as the building and practicing of critical thinking skills. As students uniquely experience American History, Experience History propels students to greater understanding while achieving greater course success.
Give students an experience. Improve course participation and performance. Experience History and experience success!