"Vivid and remarkably fresh...Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages."--The New York Times Book Review
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History
New York Times Book Review Top Ten books of the Year
With a new preface marking the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower.
How did America begin? That simple question launches the acclaimed author of In the Hurricane's Eye and Valiant Ambition 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 history of the Pilgrims, the story of Plymouth Colony was a fifty-five year epic that began in peril and ended in war. New England erupted into a bloody conflict that nearly wiped out the English colonists and natives alike. These events shaped the existing communites and the country that would grow from them.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Forget everything you think you know about the Pilgrims. Their story of sailing to New England aboard the Mayflower to escape religious persecution looms so large in the American consciousness, it’s a sort of myth—and historian Nathaniel Philbrick is here to bust it. In his eye-opening book, Philbrick uses meticulous research to separate fact from fiction. We were gobsmacked to learn that the first Thanksgiving wasn’t just about the Pilgrims being hungry and desperate for help from the Native Americans, it was also about them shrewdly allying themselves with the area’s most powerful tribe. In fact, Philbrick explodes the entire accepted narrative that the colonists were just a humble people looking for religious freedom, going in depth on the treacherous war the Puritans waged against the region’s indigenous peoples for two generations. Drawing on copious primary sources like letters and diaries, Mayflower strips away any idealized notions we had about the Pilgrims, and that’s okay. The truth, as it turns out, is even more impactful.
What makes Philbrick's book so fascinating and accessible the way he turns the Pilgrim legend on its head and shakes out fresh insights from the crusty old mythology we all absorbed in grade school is present in full force in this exceptional audio version. With more than 800 audiobooks to his credit, Guidall gives the term "veteran reader" a whole new meaning. Such leading figures as William Bradford, Benjamin Church and Miles Standish of the so-called Plymouth Colony (which was not even close to Plymouth or its now-famous rock) emerge from the pages of history as understandable if not always admirable figures, and Guidall's evocations of the sadly depleted (by European diseases) Wampanoag Indians and their chief, Massasoit, are equally believable. The bitter voyage of the Seaflower (a slave ship taking captive Wampanoags to be sold in the Caribbean after a disastrous war with Massasoit's son, Philip), which rounds out Philbrick's masterful account, is treated with energy, respect and a straightforwardness that only increases its power. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 6).
Yes, I know the Mayflower landed in 1620 but after that, whatever I learned in in school has long sailed away at age 72. This book really puts names and faces on the Pilgrims and their hardships. The impact of the Plymouth settlement long term on the Native Americans of New England and the story of King Phillip (Indian) will definitely hold your attention. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was part of the book gets bogged down in political details which was slow reading at just before I shut off my iPad for me to go bed. If you know the geography of New England as I do, you will be surprised how many chapters mention sites using the names of current cities and towns.
Good read and a good account of the pilgrims. Not as good of a flow as "In the heart of the sea" but none the less still well written.....
This is indeed a great book, but I don't understand the pricing either. The Kindle version (for iPhone and iPad) is only $9.99. The hardback now sells for $5.98 in many bargain bins. Really absurd to be 19.99 on iBooks. Also I hate that his books don't digitize the photos for inclusion in the ebooks (as with Last Stand).