We may examine representative incidents by following the geographic route of European settlement, beginning in the New England colonies. There, at first, the Puritans did not regard the Indians they encountered as natural enemies, but rather as potential friends and converts. But their Christianizing efforts showed little success, and their experience with the natives gradually yielded a more hostile view. The Pequot tribe in particular, with its reputation for cruelty and ruthlessness, was feared not only by the colonists but by most other Indians in New England. In the warfare that eventually ensued, caused in part by intertribal rivalries, the Narragansett Indians became actively engaged on the Puritan side.
The book received a hostile reception in some quarters, with critics charging that it was poorly researched and/or allowed others to exploit it for antisemitic purposes. The German historian Hans Mommsen disparaged the first edition as "a most trivial book, which appeals to easily aroused anti-Semitic prejudices". Israeli Holocaust historian Israel Gutman called the book "a lampoon", stating "this is not research; it isn't even political literature... I don't even think it should be reviewed or critiqued as a legitimate book." [ citation needed ] The book was also harshly criticized by Brown University Professor Omer Bartov  and University of Chicago Professor Peter Novick .