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History Americas

America's Gift

What the World Owes to the Americas and Their First Inhabitants

by (author) Käthe Roth & Denis Vaugeois

Baraka Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2009
Americas, General, Cultural
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 15
  • Grade: 10


Recalling the full significance of the contact made between Europe and the Americas, this book shows how the encounter of two "old worlds" gave rise to a truly new world on both sides of the Atlantic. From astronomy to food, the history shows how America began transforming Europe the moment European explorers set foot on American soil. Featuring an alphabetical glossary to connect the particular to the universal, the book reveals the vast contributions the Americas and their original inhabitants made to the world.

About the authors

Kathe Roth was born in Montréal and now lives in Saint-Lazare, Québec. She has been a literary translator and editor for more than twenty-five years. Her work includes over thirty translated books and essays of literary non-fiction on various subjects, including art, architecture, economics, history, and sociology, as well as fiction. She was a finalist for the Governor General Award for literary translation in 1993 for “The Last Cod Fish” by Pol Chantraine. She is a member of the Literary Translators Association of Canada.

Käthe Roth's profile page

Denis Vaugeois is a historian and publisher and author of many books on North American and European history and how they converge and diverge. He has studied Jewish history for more than 50 years. He was Quebec’s minister of cultural affairs in the late 1970s. Käthe Roth is a Montreal editor and translator who has worked with Denis Vaugeois on history books for fifteen years.

Denis Vaugeois' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The book is filled with little gems throughout . . . a great reference for research. A nice addition to any library or school."  “Eastern Door (Kahnawake Mohawk Nation)

"Authors Käthe Roth and Denis Vaugeois have put together a fascinating compendium of English words that owe their etymological origins to native Languages of the Americas. But [this book] does more . . . It is a thought-provoking read that will be a valuable resource for students and scholars alike."  “Montreal Review of Books

"Contains the kind of information that should be required reading for all schoolchildren."  “Rover Arts

"This historical depiction of how Aboriginal Culture and ways of existing impacted mainstream society is incredible. The recognition of how sophisticated in methodologies Aboriginal peoples were before contact is exceptional. This book seeks to give empowerment to our people in a way that has needed to be said."  “Native Canadian, Monthly Newspaper of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto

"A fascinating book!"  “Le Soleil (Quebec City)

Librarian Reviews

America’s Gift: What the World Owes to the Americas and their First Inhabitants

Originally published in French, this fascinating book is an exploration of the contributions that have been made by the Americas and the First Nations of the Americas to the world. While its main body is devoted to an alphabetical glossary of these contributions, things that the European newcomers adopted into their lives and then took back to Europe when they returned, it also gives a general outline of the contact and colonization history of North and South America. Many of the entries give extensive explanations of how that particular object, word or idea has played a role in the rest of the world after becoming widespread.

Vaugeois was Quebec’s Minister of Cultural Affairs from 1978-81.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2010-2011.

Other titles by Käthe Roth

Other titles by Denis Vaugeois