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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community,…
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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Nathaniel Philbrick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,298None1,646 (3.85)208
Member:LisaMaria_C
Title:Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
Authors:Nathaniel Philbrick
Info:Penguin Books (2007), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:ultimate reading list - history, 17th century, America, American, Massachusetts, American History, Colonial America, history, Indians, King Philip's War, Mayflower, Native Americans, New England, non-fiction, Pilgrims, Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Puritans

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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Had I actually read this book rather than listened to the audio on my commute I think it would have been inaccessible to me. Dry and littered with (admittedly necessary) Native American names, it's just a bit of overload.

Still, it definitely made me think of the circular nature of history. It feels what is happening overseas is a bit like what the Pilgrims ended up doing to the Native Americans - dehumanizing them to the point it was possible to slaughter and torture them.

Good for people with a thirst for knowledge for this period of American history. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
This is a "myth buster" type of history: intended to counteract the cultural my of the happy relationship between the Pilgrims and the native Indians. He has not only consulted the usual English primary sources, but also Indian sources and attempted to piece together a more realistic picture. Clearly, the Pilgrims were not prepared to face New England. And relations with the Indians was tense from the beginning. The Pilgrims came to the New World to find freedom to worship as their consciences dictated; but tolerance for the the conscience of others was not their purpose. The separation of church and state was not a part of their political philosophy, either. The Pilgrim were only human, with the full range of rogues and scoundrels, heroes and wise men, saints and sinners. Perhaps the greatest value this book brings to the story of the Pilgrims is the telling of the Indian side of the conflicts.
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
I enjoyed re-learning some things I had forgotten. The first part of the book was the most interesting describing the pilgrim's background and their establishment of the Plymouth colony. The initial interactions with the native americans was also very interesting but the descriptions of King Phillip's war got a little long and repetitive. Overall, enjoyed this quite a bit. ( )
  jpackham | Dec 4, 2013 |
This is a compelling rendering of the "pilgrims" passage to Plymouth, their struggle to survive and plant new roots and their progeny's experiences with the natives. So much has been left out of history classes and it was wonderful to have a chance to read the facts. Philbrick does an impecible job of transforming history into an exciting tale of struggle, hope, faith, and compromise while never leaving out the emotions of the players and forefathers of America. ( )
  JEB5 | Oct 30, 2013 |
42. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, audio book narrated by George Guidall (2006, 480 pages in paper format, Listened to Aug 27 - Sep 10)

Reading themes that led me here: The only audio book I could find of interest on my libraries shelf - my first time looking. But it was nice that this was the era I've been reading about in the history of science.

This was my first audio book. I have since listened to two more and I'm mostly through a third. Suddenly most of my "reading" is audio. I only listen in the car. I've been treating these like I might listen to NPR. They have to be nonfiction and informative, or better, history-ish, and books I'm OK missing bits here and there because I was mentally tuned out...and I don't want to repeat.

About the book: It's interesting but very long. It was weird to be apparently done with Plymouth, and certainly long past the Mayflower, but only find myself half way through the book. The book carries on through an extensive history of King Philip's War. Upon finishing the overall affect is that the story of the Pilgrims was mainly a prologue for the much more interesting war.

Philbrick does make the Pilgrims quite interesting as he traces them first from England to The Netherlands, then the prep for their voyage, then the voyage on the Mayflower (which is only a small part of the book), and their history in Plymouth where they die in multitudes, and make peace and war with the Indians. After Cromwell leads a Puritan takeover of England, the Pilgrims are left with a bitter doubt of the purpose of the whole episode. It's quite a story.

But King Philip's War was fascinating. It was so interesting to see the Indians develop their techniques. At first they perform terribly in battle. The didn't know how to fight Europeans, and they didn't know how to slaughter in battle. That was not their normal way. But they learned. And there was a point in the war where the Indians, finally using their knowledge of the landscape to their advantage, really felt they had a chance to win, and maybe they did (and what would that have done to history?). And it's interesting to have a description of these Indians, by English prisoners, returning from this critical battle. The Indians won this battle, but failed to wipe out the English as they needed to. English prisoners describe the Indians dragging themselves back from this victorious battle, in full awareness that they may have just lost the war. The English eventually learned they needed to have Indian allies to win. These allies were critical guides and terrific fighters. As the war dragged on, the body counts escalated and the English finally out-supply the Indians, who ran out of ammunition and food. There were other mistakes too, like King Philip's general incompetence. The result was something like a local ethnic cleansing.

I should mention that the narrator, George Guidall, was excellent, managing the reading as a performance without sounding like he was performing.

Recommended, but don't expect a quick read.

To read in the context of my LT thread go here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/154187#4319962 ( )
1 vote dchaikin | Oct 12, 2013 |
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Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143111973, Paperback)

Nathaniel Philbrick became an internationally renowned author with his National Book Award? winning In the Heart of the Sea, hailed as ?spellbinding? by Time magazine. In Mayflower, Philbrick casts his spell once again, giving us a fresh and extraordinarily vivid account of our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. From the Mayflower?s arduous Atlantic crossing to the eruption of King Philip?s War between colonists and natives decades later, Philbrick reveals in this electrifying history of the Pilgrims a fifty-five-year epic, at once tragic and heroic, that still resonates with us today.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as author Philbrick reveals, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic. The Mayflower's religious refugees arrived in Plymouth Harbor during a period of crisis for Native Americans, as disease spread by European fishermen devastated their populations. Initially the two groups maintained a fragile working relationship. But within decades, New England erupted into King Philip's War, a savage conflict that nearly wiped out colonists and natives alike, and forever altered the face of the fledgling colonies and the country that would grow from them. Philbrick has fashioned a fresh portrait of the dawn of American history--dominated right from the start by issues of race, violence, and religion.--From publisher description.… (more)

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