mostly nonfiction listener
Mayflower is straight ahead historical narrative in the old-fashioned style. This is the books strength and weakness. Strength because the story of the Pilgrims is both essential and compelling. I grew up in Boston and was a history major in college, and yet my understanding of the facts, dates, names, of the Pilgrims is all too hazy. This book helps. The weakness is that I felt often overloaded by the narrative, with Philbrick unwilling to draw broad conclusions or themes from the Pilgrim's experience. Still, I'm pretty excited to bring the girls to Plymouth Plantation.
fan of history and politics
This book is roughly divided into three periods: the immigration of the Pilgrims, their interactions with Native Americans, and the conflicts including the Great Swamp Fight and King Phillip's War. It provided great context for the beginning of the white people's history in North America and the ensuing centuries of complicated relationships with Native Americans. I am particularly intrigued to learn more about Benjamin Church, who could be called America's first Army Ranger.
First, credit where it is due: This book was very well written, extremely well researched, and the narration was very good. I really enjoyed the first half that described the lead-up to the voyage, the voyage itself, and the struggle of the first few years. However, once it got into the details of all the different Indian characters, tribes and politics, I quickly got lost, as did my interest. This is more a statement about what holds my interest rather than a reflection on the book itself. For someone who is into deep details of interrelationships, I think this book would be a great fit.
Good history, interesting, but it was too long. All the events ran together after a while. Worthwhile, however, especially for history buffs.
good luck to all the tortured highschool students forced to slog through this book like the early Americans struggling through swamps, holding their muskets above their heads. possible more suitable for the true American history enthusiast.
forget most of what you know about Plymouth rock, Squanto, the Pilgrims, and early New England. The chapter in early American history that most people skip. Philbrick is a great historian.
My next life I want to come back as Jack Ryan.
I loved the book and would like to see more from this author. in addition the narrator did a great job of separating out each of the characters.