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500 Nations

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Tear a third of the pages out of your favorite novel. Read them in random order. Now you’ll know what it’s like to look at the 500 Nations CD-ROM devoted to North American Indian history. A companion to the same-titled book and TV documentary (now on video), 500 Nations has the engaging, exhaustively researched feel of PBS’ The Civil War and Baseball. Unfortunately, it chops up narratives into point-and-click nuggets for digestion in any sequence — though they really only make sense in one. Heed the tradition of your ancestors: Buy the book or rent the tapes instead. C