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Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith,…
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Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New…

by David A. Price

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Review
  smbarb01 | May 1, 2016 |
This is an engrossing account of the Jamestown story told mainly from the English point of view and with John Smith as the main focus of the book. Price pretty much accepts Smith's version of events, but he backs his opinion with research, so you can't say he made his decision lightly. I've seen book reviews saying that historians today generally accept that the Pocahontas rescue never happened, but actually, no they don't; they're pretty divided (as I am). I rather like the argument Price makes for Smith's truthfulness on the rescue, which is, among other things, that it would not have made him look heroic, so he gained little personally by revealing it. As for whether it was an adoption ritual that Smith failed to understand, Price makes the point that Smith stayed in Jamestown for several more years and had much contact with the natives. If he failed to understand it at the time, he would probably have figured it out in the years following. And whatever you care to say about Smith, he wasn't stupid. A part of this book I really liked was the fascinating description of events surrounding the shipwreck in Bermuda (inspiration for Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'), a story in which Smith is not a participant.

That said, if you want a Jamestown account with a more Native American Indian viewpoint, I recommend Rountree's 'Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown.' It's not as easy a read, and a little slow in parts, as it spends a lot of time on Indian culture, Rountree's specialty. But it gives needed balance to the Jamestown story. Rountree, for one, is much more skeptical of John Smith.

BTW, I really disagree with another reviewer on this page who says "the book ... seems to position the [Pocahontas/Smith] relationship as an unrequited love story." We must have read different books, as I didn't see that at all. Price even states that the only hint of a romance in Smith's writings was a mysterious reference to the Abigail Isles, which Smith is thought to have named, but for which there is no known reference. ( )
  texasstorm | Feb 23, 2016 |
This history of the English settlement of Jamestown provides just the right amount of detail to keep the story moving. It is especially strong at providing glimpses into the psychology and motivations of the various actors in the drama. ( )
  proflinton | Jul 12, 2015 |
Interesting history of the relationship between John Smith and Matoaka (Pocahontas) in Jamestown in the early 1600s. Unfortunately, Price seems to speculate excessively at points in the book and seems to position the relationship as an unrequited love story.
  krista.kinslow | Jan 21, 2011 |
Great primer book for anyone wanting to learn about the dynamics of early colonialism and Jamestown.
  2ndCharter | Sep 2, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375415416, Hardcover)

A gripping narrative of one of the great survival stories of American history: the opening of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Drawing on period letters and chronicles, and on the papers of the Virginia Company–which financed the settlement of Jamestown–David Price tells a tale of cowardice and courage, stupidity and brilliance, tragedy and costly triumph. He takes us into the day-to-day existence of the English men and women whose charge was to find gold and a route to the Orient, and who found, instead, hardship and wretched misery. Death, in fact, became the settlers’ most faithful companion, and their infighting was ceaseless.

Price offers a rare balanced view of the relationship between the settlers and the natives. He unravels the crucial role of Pocahontas, a young woman whose reality has been obscured by centuries of legend and misinformation (and, more recently, animation). He paints indelible portraits of Chief Powhatan, the aged monarch who came close to ending the colony’s existence, and Captain John Smith, the former mercenary and slave, whose disdain for class distinctions infuriated many around him–even as his resourcefulness made him essential to the colony’s success.

Love and Hate in Jamestown is a superb work of popular history, reminding us of the horrors and heroism that marked the dawning of our nation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Drawing on period letters and chroniclers, and on the papers of the Virginia Company - which financed the settlement of Jamestown - David A. Price tells a tale of cowardice and courage, stupidity and brilliance, tragedy and costly triumph. He takes us into the day-to-day existence of the British men and women whose charge was to find gold and route to the Orient, and who instead found hardship and wretched misery. Death, in fact, became the settlers' most faithful companion, and their infighting was ceaseless." "Price offers a rare balanced view of the relationship between the settlers and the native. He unravels the crucial role of Pocahontas, a young woman whose reality has been obscured by centuries of legend and misinformation (and, more recently, animation). He paints indelible portraits of Chief Powhatan, the aged monarch who came close to ending the colony's existence, and Captain John Smith, the former mercenary and slave, whose disdain for class distinctions infuriated many around him - even as his resourcefulness made him essential to the colony's success."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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