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The Jamestown Project

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  15 reviews

Listen to a short interview with Karen Ordahl Kupperman
Host: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane

Captain John Smith's 1607 voyage to Jamestown was not his first trip abroad. He had traveled throughout Europe, been sold as a war captive in Turkey, escaped, and returned to England in time to join the Virginia Company's colonizing project. In Jamestown migrants, mer

Hardcover, 392 pages
Published March 23rd 2007 by Belknap Press
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This book looks at the Jamestown settlement as it relates to what was happening in the world. If you are at all interested in world or American history, I recommend this to you. It is not a dry read through and relates stories of people and places and gives many references for further research.

Edited 19-Jun-2010:
I read this book right before Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America and liked it equally. In fact, I would highly recommend reading them togeth
This was great. It is not really a history of the Jamestown settlement- rather, it is the history of the world as the English and Indians saw it at the start of the 1600s...the world in which the Jamestown settlement came into being. Kupperman points out that Jamestown was only one of a ton of settlement and trading projects all over the world for the English. They had already tried a settlement in North Carolina which failed, they were making attempts in Guyana, on islands in the Caribbean, the ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
The Jamestown Project feels like two loosely connected essays melded into one book. The deep background about matters such as European colonization ventures and Europeans who had "taken the turban" - renounced European ways and essentially taken up life in Muslim cultures - was interesting to me but would probably not be to the average person who picked up the book expecting a history of Jamestown and its founding. Approximately half the book addresses Jamestown; the other half deals with deep b ...more
Michael Wing
Just starting this nonfiction, and is it ever thorough. Extremely well researched, broadly represented, and finely organized from the Europeans and the new Americans. I have learned several historical facts that were either confused or reversed in my past. Great stuff after only 100 pages. Finished the project this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed being offered thorough research on culture, economics, prejudices, and politics of the countries claiming our land and manipulating natives. John Smith ...more
This is quite a book, putting Jamestown into perspective. It looks at what the English were trying to do and why, and what the Natives were looking for, as well as what the colonists were striving to accomplish.

What I thought was particularly interesting was the overall European view, offering analysis of how Jamestown and other attempted settlements fit into the English system (no gov't money!) and how they were perceived by the Spanish (a threat!).

In this day and age, it's interesting to see t
If you're looking for a chronological history of what happened at Jamestown in the early settlement years, this isn't the book for you. Much of it is not directly about Jamestown at all. Instead, "The Jamestown Project" describes the world in which the settlement of Jamestown occurred: England's experiences of the larger world, Native American experiences of Europeans, England's attempts at colonizing, and so on. The book helps provide context about why the Jamestown settlers acted the way they ...more
She really takes the long view in this book - providing a lot of historical background prior to the actual settlement of Jamestown, which really doesn't start until at least half way through the book. This was a lot of good context. Her main argument is that though the U.S. likes to look to Plymouth and the Puritans as its origins, Jamestown existed prior to this and was the model that all later settlements followed, including Plymouth. I'm not sure she gives enough evidence to back that up, but ...more
Very thorough and interesting account
David R.
The goal here was to demonstrate that Jamestown colony (especially 1607-19) ultimately became a success through hard lessons, and that modern perceptions that the colony was a foolish hive of gold diggers is largely incorrect. Kupperman performed a great deal of background research in preparation for writing this book, but really went over the wall. We don't even get to Jamestown until past page 200. Unfortunately, the real core of the book, as stated, is glossed over fairly quickly. Lots of edi ...more
Jun 25, 2008 Matt rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Matt by: Vince
good historical background of the first travels to North America. A little slow however and I am getting bogged down in the all the details. Every person who ever sailed for American is mentioned, and half of their life stories are told. I am hoping the pace picks up.
Three months later. The pace never picked up and I never picked the book up again.
This book posits that Jamestown was the first colony that shaped the way British colonialism happened from them out. I'm not sure if it's a great thesis, but there's a lot of good info in this book. It's kinda hokey at times, but probably great for intro to Early American history or something like that.
This is more about the broth that flavoured it rather than the actual dumpling. And what an interesting broth it was. I like the way she put this together. Clear writing. This took me ages to read because I didn't want to be finished.
I didn't know that I would enjoy this book as much as I did. Much more about European colonization in general than the Jamestown Colony specifically. Great read, well written. Loved it.
every book on this subject is different
For grad course this fall.
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