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

by Nathaniel Philbrick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,9861151,779 (3.88)270
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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» See also 270 mentions

English (112)  French (1)  All languages (113)
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
Look. It would be unfair for me to gloss over the fact that I was mildly disappointed to start this book.

I was really looking forward to learning more about both Mayflower: The Ship and Mayflower: The Compact.

It’s not a spoiler to mention that any involved Details about the ship or the compact end pretty quickly in the first 100 pages.

But, it would also be unfair of me to gloss over the fact what I learned from the rest of the book was still interesting.

Think of the book’s title ‘Mayflower’, as it concerns with the mentality and character of a New People, rather than a 100 specific people on a specific boat. ( )
  Chuck_ep | Jul 18, 2022 |
I'm going to be the fountain of knowledge during the dinner conversation tomorrow night ... ( )
  donhazelwood | Mar 11, 2022 |
An engaging history ( )
  dualmon | Nov 17, 2021 |
The first half of this book was thoroughly intriguing. Somewhere around the death of William Bradford it lost momentum. It picked up again about 50 pages later but the tie between the two generations wasn't as strong as I would have liked. It gets an extra point for the research. Philbrick does a stellar job with that. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
This book is written in such a way that I felt for all those involved as I never had in my school education. It was easy to read and filled with information that was new to me. I enjoy reading historical books, especially when it is obvious that time and research was invested in the creation of the story.
I recommend this book highly.
I was given this book by NetGalley and Penguin Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  ksnapier | Feb 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nathaniel Philbrickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Preface

We all want to know how it was in the beginning.
Chapter 1
They Knew They Were Pilgrims

For sixty-five days, the Mayflower had blundered her way through storms and headwinds, her bottom a shaggy pelt of seaweed and barnacles, her leaky decks spewing salt water onto her passengers' devoted heads.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Nathaniel Philbrick's The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World (2008) is a young adult adaptation of this title, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (2006). Please distinguish between the two Works. Thank you.
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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.

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Book description
How did America begin?
This simple question launches acclaimed author Nathaniel Philbrick on an extraordinary journey to understand the truth behind our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth colony. As Philbrick reveals in this electrifying new book the story of the Pilgrims does not end with the First Thanksgiving instead it is a fifty-five year epic that is at once tragic and heroic, and still carries meaning for us today.

The account begins in the cold and dripping confines of the Mayflower, where 102 passengers tensely await the conclusion of an arduous, two-month voyage. The Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth Harbor during a period of crisis for the Native Americans as disease spread by European fishermen devastated their populations. Initially the two groups - the Wampanoags, under the charismatic and calculating leader Massasoit, and the Pilgrims, whose pugnacious military officer Miles Standish was barely five feet tall - maintained a fragile working relationship. But within decades, New England erupted into King Philip’s War, a savage conflict that nearly wiped out English colonist and natives alike, and forever altered the face of the fledgling colonies and the country that would grow from them.

Philbrick evokes the drama of the voyage, the eerie emptiness of coastal New England in the fall of 1620, and the large and small decisions that determined how everything would unfold for centuries to come with a vigor and incisiveness that will startle anyone who thought they knew the story of the Pilgrims. But above all, he surprises us with the human story beneath the myth. These are characters whose names have become legend - William Bradford, Edward Winslow, Miles Standish, Massasoit, and Squanto - but whom Philbrick brings to life as flawed, heroic, temperamental, and shrewd. We also meet figures who are lesser know, though we live their legacy every day; Benjamin Church, the Plymouth-born frontiersman who used his knowledge of his Indian neighbors to help the English to a bloody victory; and Massasoit’s son Philip, a tortured, enigmatic leader who reluctantly led his people into the war that would bear his name.

That crucial half-century, from 1620 to 1676, began in peril, ended in war, and contaminated the seeds of what would come to define America. Philbrick salutes the real courage of the Puritan true believers, willing to risk all for their religious convictions, as well as the generosity and sophistication of the Native Americans.
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