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Reviews

"Skillfully written, informative, and stimulating. More than just a collection of rumors and the stories they generated, this book is a smart exploration of the issue of hearsay and the limitations in the evidence historians depend upon to craft their narratives."

"Groundless is satisfyingly grounded. Dowd has eavesdropped credibly as well as prodigously, listening to the many voices across time whether recorded safely on microfilm or in the inky scribbles in the National Archives at Kew."

"Dowd’s work has much methodological import for historians of early America and beyond who will certainly benefit from the approach he presents. Groundless shows that paying attention to falsities can uncover important cultural truths."

"In this innovative, intriguing study, Dowd (Univ. of Michigan) examines how rumors or "flying reports" shaped the dynamics of communication between colonists and Native Americans... This work deserves broad readership for its wealth of insights on early America’s frontiers and for what it says about the nature of historical evidence."

"Dowd's perceptive analysis ably establishes that rumor revealed deep-seated concerns and shaped both events and narratives."

"... imaginative and forthright approach to evidence and its analysis..."

"[Groundless] will appeal to scholars—and not only to early Americanists and ethnohistorians but also to historians concerned with rumor, communications, group identity formation, and memory. This is a masterful work worthy of attention and careful reading."

"The result is a book that all scholars will have to take seriously, and it will likely find its way into the shelves of early Americanists and historians of the American South. It should also find its way into graduate seminars, as the topic will likely spur good conversations about sources and interpretation. Undergraduates, too, will likely enjoy reading parts of the book..."

"[Groundless] has dones a great service to the field of early North American studies in pushing our understandings of rumor... We owe a debt to [Dowd] for his work in this area."