I am NOT a history buff, but one page in I was hooked. Philbrick not only tells what the Pilgrims did (how they got there, how they survived) but what gave them the perspective to make the decisions they did. Reading this the Pilgrims, Natives and Londoners gained depth and personalities far over what I remember from history class.
I picked this up mainly as a reference book but enjoyed it as a story. Philbricks sense of irony is wonderful. The first two sections moved faster for me than the settlement and wars, but it was all well researched and written and easy to read.
Fascinating. Everything I thought I knew about the Pilgrims was totally wrong. A book that busts the whole "Thanksgiving, Plmouth Rock" mythology out of the water. A must read for anyone really serious about learning the true history of our founding fathers.
Quite different from what we were taught when I went to grade school in Massachusetts. One has to wonder about textbook authors.
I believe this is well researched and probably as accurate as it is possible to be. It's well written and explains a lot that our school history texts did not explain or glossed over. There may be other contemporary accounts that are good also but I feel privileged to have read this one and am happy that I did.
I really liked this book. Took me awhile to finish reading it, but you can surely put yourself right back in the times and begin to feel what life must have been like then. And that is not exactly how we had been taught to understand it. Very informative, great book.
I have to admit, I could barely finish this book. I enjoyed the first part about the journey and setting up the colony, especially correcting my mistaken impressions. Unfortunately, I could not keep the individual tribes straight so everything ran together as the book got more into the Indian troubles and war. And I was a history major!
This is an awesome book that gives new depth to the understanding of the Mayflower immigrants, and the Native Americans. It explains a lot about the relationships of the sailors, saints and strangers who were on the journey. It also goes into the hurricane that hit the ship, toppled the main mast and how the pilgrims were able to use a press they brought aboard ship to save the voyage. It goes into detail about the precarious Billington boys and how they almost blew up the ship. Another interesting character is Stephen Hopkins who was hired by the Virginia Co. and brought
along is pregnant wife Elizabeth who had the baby Oceanus at sea. It also goes into the King Phillip War a generation later. This book brings history to life and gives new perspective on the Pilgrim's adventures.
I really had no desire to read this book, but it was a required text for a class. I was immediately drawn into this non-fiction story about the beginning of the settlement at Plymouth Rock. The story is written as a novel, but is historically accurate and includes all of the data for history buffs in the back. It tells the story of the ex-communicated Puritans' journey from the Netherlands. Their initial destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, yet they ended up at Cape Cod, and eventually Plymouth.
From one who hates the requisite memorization of history, dates and the like, I truly enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend it to anybody.
I loved this book! Well written, easy read. Couldn't put it down. Thoroughly researched history of the Mayflower and its passengers. A must-read for any of the 30 million Americans who descend from a Mayflower passenger.
What an interesting book! A huge research undertaking as one can tell by the 27 page bibliography, Philbrick details the Pilgrim settling in our country. It is difficult to summarize this read in a short review but I'll try. Philbrick begins with the planning and arrangements which were made as the Pilgrims prepared to leave their Dutch homes. Inexperienced and naive, they made so many planning mistakes that they arrived on our shores with depleted food stores. The Pilgrims were so ill prepared to make their homes in an unsettled area that it is a wonder they survived and probably would not have done so except for the aid of Massasoit's hand of friendship. Accustomed to living in populated areas, they learned as they lived and many perished because of the harsh conditions. Imagine arriving on our east coast in December, having to locate a place to build your home and then building in the midwinter.
The first Thanksgiving was far different from what we learn in grade school as the group feasted primarily on wild game and native grown corn and squash. They ate standing because of the lack of furniture, all of which needed to be built as needed. All went well until the second generation which did not understand the harsh conditions under which their parents survived. As with any clash of cultures, misunderstandings began to arise until war finally broke out between the settlers and the Indian tribes. At first inter-tribal warring continued until it became apparent that in order to survive they must band together. Both sides committed atrocity after atrocity.
Some of the settlers came to believe that the only good Indian was a dead Indian. Indeed, passions became so fierce that at one point even friendly Indians were imprisoned, killed and/or isolated from the settlers. Until the settlers learned that the only way to fight hostile groups was to fight as they did rather than as Europeans, it appeared that the Indians would push the settlers into the ocean. While many names are mentioned, one that struck me as instrumental in settler survival was Benjamin Church who recruited friendly natives into his forces and successfully pursued the hostiles.
This non-fiction book begins with the Puritans in England, their emigration to Holland and then to the "New World" via the Mayflower. Most of the book deals with the Plymouth settlement and then the brutal King Philip's War. The book is factual and neutral presenting a fair view of both the English and the Indians. Having read this, one comes away with a better understanding of the complexities of the period. For those living in New England especially Massachusetts, there is the added fascination of reading about familiar names and places. Great read even for those not inclined to "history".
Book is very detqiled by years of the settlement of early New England!! I found myself having to review previous chapters in order to keep everything in context. There is much information that is not easily available regarding this part of our history.
recommend for the interested huistorian!!!!
Cheryl C. reviewed Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a surprising look at the history of the Mayflower and I thought I knew my history! I liked it enough to pass it on to my son and grandson to read before their vacation to New England this summer.
Has anybody ever heard of King Philip's War? I hadn't either but that is just one of the fascinating accounts from this book filled with little known facts of the Pilgrims settling in the "New World." As usual Mr. Philbrick has done a stellar job of making history very readable.
History written tightly enough to be a novel is one of my favorite genres, and Philbrick certainly has the touch. I found myself facinated by the lives and foibles of the Pilgrims, and facinated by their history. Even the King Philip's War section was intriguing, although war reading it not usually for me. I read the book in November so had the Pilgrims firmly in mind as we entered the Thanksgiving season.
For historians which like a good story with enough factual information to leave any doubt of the validity of the info there in, you will be enthralled as was I. This is an in-depth look by Nathaniel Phillbrick at the founding of Plymouth Colony, how these English religious zealots survived those early years. It also tells the story of how the Indians of this area help these colonist, and are wiped out with disease and war. The author says over 30 million Americans now claim DNA relationship to the passengers of the Mayflower. I liked the book and have recommended it to friends as I am now doing to you. If you think it suits your literary palate, you might try it.
I really liked this book - this author is amazing. His attention to detail and research are wonderful. Very interesting if you are a New Englander, especially - quite honestly, this should be a required text in schools - not the crap that has become the "norm". Very engaging - DOES NOT read like a dry history text.
Wow - what an enlightening book. Though I knew the sanitized version of the voyage of the Mayflower, the pilgrims and puritans in New England and the alleged landing at Plymouth Rock was no doubt extremely whitewashed, I had no idea to what extent.
Though I occasionally bogged down in the details, I was more often fascinated by all that I learned. It was very well written and at least gets a partial view of the native american versions of what really occured. Now I am order "In the Heart of the Sea" by the same author, and have very high expectations of loving it too!
I am not going to write up a synopsis because I just don't want to. It is a dry read and had a hard time getting into and retaining information. Research is there but still hints of speculation here and there because there is not a lot of first accounts stories around and if they are they are usually one sided accounts. Yep, that is all I want to say.