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While Lepore does not defend Philip's actions, she is more interested in understanding how he functioned as a symbol of cultural identity than in the details of his personality. The Indians are not whitewashed but, as is standard among professional historians, early Americans are substantially criticized for their treatment of Indians. This does not imply that she is wrong, but it is a bias of which readers should be aware. She also gives a detailed psychological analysis of the deep motives of both sides of the conflict in King Philip's War, which some readers may find excessively speculative.