David's Reviews > Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
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's review
Aug 29, 2011

it was ok
Read in August, 2011

Good research here and lots of historical facts about the Mayflower, the early days of settlement, and the increasing tensions with the native inhabitants of the New World, but the presentation was generally unimaginative. It took the form of a plodding linear trudge through time. It was at times amazing to consider what the pilgrims went through and what they put the Native Americans through, but it wasn’t until the final chapter that the author pulled the pieces together and gave a narrative story and POV. Often I didn’t know quite where it was all going or how to interpret what was happening. So, in a sense, by the time I “got it,” “it” was already over and I kind of missed the full flavor of the events. One thing that didn’t escape me: the Pilgrims were self absorbed, clueless savages who were probably just as bad if not worse that the heathens they detested, cheated, defiled, persecuted, enslaved, quartered, beheaded, and ultimately destroyed in true genocidal fashion. In other words, they're kind of like people today, just a little rougher around the edges. This is not to say that the book falsely potrayed Indians as noble savages, either. But it doesn't take much imagination to see that the religiously inspired were resoundingly unholy and inhumane.
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