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This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story.

In March 1621, when Plymouth's survival was hanging in the balance, the Wampanoag sachem (or chief), Ousamequin (Massasoit), and Plymouth's governor, John Carver, declared their people's
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
***I was granted an ARC of this via Netgalley from the publisher.***

When we think of Thanksgiving we usually think of time spent with family and plates filled with traditional Thanksgiving food. We make allusions to the circumstances of the first Thanksgiving in decorations featuring friendly pilgrims and Indians and if one is in school or has children in school perhaps a Thanksgiving play. But rarely do we think about the true circumstances surrounding the first Thanksgiving and the fraught
Rebecca L.
THIS LAND IS THEIR LAND by David J. Silverman provides an impeccably well researched account of the true events that transpired surrounding the holiday that the United States celebrates as "Thanksgiving.." The text is illuminated with pertinent illustrations that help to bring the history of of the Wampanoag to life. This extensive book examines the history of the indigenous peoples that inhabited the United States before the white settlers came to America. Silverman shows that the Wampanoag and ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, nhfpl-reread
Suffice to say, the story most of us have been taught about Thanksgiving and English settlement in the Plymouth Colony area is a bit on the sanitized and oversimplified side of things. Now while there is quite an abundance of literature out there that works to address the actual complexity of the matter, even these books still tend to address the history from a Pilgrim-centered point, as if they are still the primary players at the "start" of a fresh new nation. But the basic fact of the matter ...more
Amanda Arkans -
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I'm not sure I will ever look at Thanksgiving, and especially the traditional images of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock, the same way ever again. There is a lot of information to digest in this book. Very eye-opening.

Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Another timely read for both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month, it is long past time to hear the "real" story behind the sanitized version children are often taught. Silverman shows that the stories you were likely taught if you were educated in the US are...not very true. From the founding of Plymouth to the now-known genocide of Native people, Silverman shows what is likely a much more accurate version of what happened.

It's an informative book but it also wasn't quite what I
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
a really crucial paradigm shifter - so emphatically appreciate the overall thesis of the book. Definitely a very deep deep textbook-like dive into the nitty gritty, though, which I found I lacked patience (or time) for. Some nice summary quotes:

"The Thanksgiving myth promotes the idea that this event involved Indians gifting their country bloodlessly to Europeans and their descendants to launch the United States as a great Christian, democratic, family-centered nation blessed by God. Yet nothing
Susan Sevier
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
...Silverman tells a difficult story, and that story and the questions he asks are carefully gathered from the few first-hand accounts left to us by those who were there, and from the storied history carried from generation to generation to the hands of the living Wampanoag in our time. As a good historian, Silverman is careful to put heavy qualifications around his sources. These sources, no matter how spare and unscientific (by modern standards) do not paint a merry picture of two just-met ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of good and interesting information, on Thanksgiving, the Cape Cod area, the societies of both the native americans and pilgrims at the time. I would recommend for readers that enjoy U.S. history.
Krissy Neddo
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
DNF Reminded me of a class I took in college. Was glad to revisit this important topic. Read more like a textbook at times and I found myself skimming parts. Was unable to finish in time and had to return to library. May borrow again to finish.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What I am loving about “This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving” by David J. Silverman:

1) I haven’t fully completed this yet (it’s a thick one) but so far this has been essential reading, especially for this time of year! There is so much more to the history of thanksgiving than what we learned in elementary school.

2) Silverman gives a detailed account of what actually happened at the first thanksgiving as well as the trauma
Rea Scott
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Well researched. Paradigm shifting.
Cristie Underwood
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author's painstaking research and attention to detail is obvious in the writing of this book. There were many facts that I only discovered after reading this!
Jan 07, 2020 marked it as to-read
Heather Bennett
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Silverman has done extensive research into "Thanksgiving" . This is what people should be taught in school. Everyone should read this book. It is well written,a little dry.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
saviors, comrades, enemies, bravery, tragedy, treachery,war subjugation, poverty, hope
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
An important book, especially as the 400th anniversary of the Separatists' arrival approaches. This is a history that we all, especially New Englanders, should know.
Jack Sullivan
I recall visiting Andrew Jackson's home and thinking (smugly) how backward Southerners were by how horribly they treated their slaves. This book turned me 180 degrees. The way we treated native Americans was genocide, pure and simple. And I'm from the state that takes its name from the chief of the Wampanoag tribe (Massachusetts).
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really interesting and thoroughly researched history of the true story behind the "First Thanksgiving" myth. My only criticism is I wish there had been another chapter detailing how and when this myth got started and gained such traction.
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