Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
This simple question launches acclaimed author Nathaniel Philbrick on an extraordinary journey to understand the truth behind our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. As Philbrick reveals in this electrifying new book, the story of the Pilgrims does not end with the First Thanksgiving; instead,...more
(One of the most interesting things about Mayflower is how little of it actually dealt with the ship itself. The Pilgrims are settled (well, “settled”), and the Mayflower headed back to England to fall into disrepair and be sold for scrap by page 80. More than half the book is spent on King Philip’s War and the events that lead to it, which actually concerns the two generations after the Mayflower’s passenge...more
On the Fourth of July, for example, we aren't thinking about competing mercantile interests, unpaid French-and-Indian War debts, or the Townsend Acts. Not at all. Instead, as we get hot dog-drunk and light off fireworks, we're probably imagining a guy with a wi...more
Nathaniel Philbrick's remarkable "Mayflower" is everything you'd hope a history book to be: illuminating, lively, and authoritative. This was simply a terrific read, a fascinating glimpse into the events and people serving as the first bricks in our nation's foundation.
Beyond the fairytale images of "The First Thanksgiving", most basic American history skips from the Mayflower's 1620 landing in Plymouth the American Revolution, glossi...more
The middle portion of the book, which described life for the Plymouth Rock colony after other other groups from England ha...more
This is the only balanced book I've encountered on this subject. The P...more
More than just a telling of the story of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims' voyage and their settlement in New England, it is the story of a great cultural clash: Europeans vs the native "Indians."
Nathaniel Philbrick shows readers what the Pilgrims were like, what their past had done to form them, and what their expectations were for life in the New World. Likewise, he shows the "Indians"--the native peoples--to have been diverse tribes, most of them far mo...more
Mayflower rethinks the events and players that gave rise to a national mythology about Pilgrims living harmoniously with their Indian neighbors. Instead, Philbrick tells a story of ethnic cleansing, bloody wars, environmental ruin, and the deterioration of English-Indian relations. While he introduces familiar elements, Philbrick also recasts well-known characters like Miles Standish ("Captain Shrimp"), William Bradford, and Benjamin Church. Most critics agree that he provides a well-researched,...more
1) I have a hard time with straight, historical, non-fiction (gasp-I know, I should be better). This book was extremely readable. In fact, I couldn't put it down.
2) This book fills in the time period from a few years before the voyage to about 1676, the end of "King Phillip's War." So you get a lot more history than just the landing of the Mayflower and the settli...more
A rather prevalent theme would be the alliances between pilgrim...more
"Reading a book like the Mayflower immediately brings several things to mind: the nuanced nature of history, and the inherent limitations of understanding and interpreting history while dealing with a lack of information. Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower is a very good book, one well worth reading. It's a book that doesn't try too hard to tell a story of history that "changes everything" or tries to "turn the world upside down." It's a book written by an author who seems...more
In the early 17th century, a small group of devout English Christians fled their villages to escape persecution, going first to Holland, then making the now infamous 10-week voyage to the New World. Rather than arriving in the summer months as planned, they landed in November, low on supplies. Luckily, they were met by the Wampanoag Indians and their wizene...more
The first half of the book focuses on the Pilgrims and their flight from England and later Holland, as they looked to a land of religious freedom (provided it...more
1) Being a Pilgrim was THE WORST. You mostly died. It was really cold and sailing to a new land that you know nothing about is pretty much the most terrifying situation I can think of.
2) It's really easy to forget the fact that the colonists completely destroyed a civilization so that they could own more land. Obviously, I knew...more
After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine; was a freelancer for a number of years, during whic...more