The book's title really only describes the first half of the book.
The first half of this book is interesing and right on point. It is the story behind the Pilgrims, their voyage and what drove them to take the risks they did. I was very pleased until, about half way through, the book turned into a drawn-out, detailed account of the wars with the Native-Americans that came several decades after the Pilgrims arrival. While the wars with the Native-Americans may be interesting to some, it was not the reason I bought this book and the accounts of the battles bored me.
If you're buying this because you want to hear the story of the Pilgrims, you'll be happy for the first half of the book. Unless you're really interested in the details of the Native-American wars and are ready to keep track of all the tribes and leaders, the second half will bore you greatly.
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.
I really loved this account of the first generations in Plymouth. the story really lasts through King Philip's War, and that is the third part really. anyway, a great piece of writing.
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.