Reviewing a Bancroft Prize–winning book presents a challenge: what else is there to say about a work recognized as one of the year’s best in American history? Moreover, Saltwater Frontier is not a typical piece of academic scholarship. It combines synthesis with careful analysis of published, translated, and unpublished Dutch and English works and of archaeological and environmental surveys. Lipman strives for a different kind of history writing here, a “narrative” that is “concise and provocative rather than magisterial or definitive” (14). This choice reflects the author’s desire to write for a broader public, another rare quality. Satisfying an audience that includes scholars, indigenous communities, and lay readers is a difficult task, but this well-written and engaging book succeeds because Lipman offers a set of bold new premises about where and under what terms intercultural exchange took place.

Lipman’s major contribution is...

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