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

by Nathaniel Philbrick

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5,5271251,891 (3.89)274
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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English (122)  French (1)  All languages (123)
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
I didn’t know much about the mayflower and colonial New England. It is hard to read, as so much of it is about the native Americans being slaughtered, sold into slavery and dispossessed. Philbrick obviously has some desire to redeem the pilgrims and manages to present a few good portraits ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
(2006) Very good history of the Pilgrim movement from Leiden, the Netherlands to England to Massachusetts. Gives the unknown true story of the hardships and how not very nice the Pilgrims were towards the native population and to other English communities in the area.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
story of courage, community, war
  SrMaryLea | Aug 23, 2023 |
The story of the Pilgrims and King Philip's War, another fine history by Nathaniel Philbrick, and winner of the National Book Award. The 2019 Folio Society edition is beautifully done and, I think, the first edition with color figures. It is ultimately quite depressing if you expect any story resembling what is taught in grade school, but it can be encouraging if you like having your suspicions confirmed that any story that seems far-fetched probably is. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second. The first, of course, focuses mainly on the Pilgrims'' flight from England/Europe to the New World and their struggles to survive that first frigid winter and year. As the book progresses beyond that first generation, we get into the Indian wars (and alliances) between the various tribes and these new white inhabitants. This began to drag a bit for me in part because of the many characters (both Indian and English) to keep track of in the book.

Still, it was written very well and often compelling. As a student of the American Revolution, it was good to go back 150 years to learn more about how it all began. ( )
  Jarratt | Mar 25, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)

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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.
[Epilogue] As early as the fall of 1675, they had begun to sail from the coast of New England: the slave ships.
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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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