"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.
In this remarkable effort, National Book Award winner Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea) examines the history of Plymouth Colony. In the early 17th century, a small group of devout English Christians fled their villages to escape persecution, going first to Holland, then making the now infamous 10-week voyage to the New World. Rather than arriving in the summer months as planned, they landed in November, low on supplies. Luckily, they were met by the Wampanoag Indians and their wizened chief, Massasoit. In economical, well-paced prose, Philbrick masterfully recounts the desperate circumstances of both the settlers and their would-be hosts, and how the Wampanoags saved the colony from certain destruction. Indeed, there was a first Thanksgiving, the author notes, and for over 50 years the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims lived in peace, becoming increasingly interdependent. But in 1675, 56 years after the colonists' landing, Massasoit's heir, Philip, launched a confusing war on the English that, over 14 horrifying months, claimed 5,000 lives, a huge percentage of the colonies' population. Impeccably researched and expertly rendered, Philbrick's account brings the Plymouth Colony and its leaders, including William Bradford, Benjamin Church and the bellicose, dwarfish Miles Standish, vividly to life. More importantly, he brings into focus a gruesome period in early American history. For Philbrick, this is yet another award-worthy story of survival.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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).