I grew up in the areas of Fall River, Mt Hope, Newport, and Portsmouth. My mother told me very briefly about King Philip's War when I asked her as a child who King Philip was and why there was a street named after him. Beyond that, and a few visits to Plymouth Plantation to see how the Pilgrims lived, I knew almost nothing of this amazing history. As the story was told, I could see in my mind the exact banks of the rivers, the view to the other side where canoes would have put in, and other scenes described. I didn't want the book to end. Thank you, thank you for such an amazing story!! Beautifully told!!
The Pilgrims of Plimoth Plantation are part of the founding mythology of the US. But what most of us know, or at least remember, is Plymouth Rock, Thanksgiving, the Puritans, and then the Revolution. Maybe we remember that King Philip's War is a thing that happened, but we may be a bit hazy on the details. Probably we remember Squanto, the friendly Indian who taught the Pilgrims to grow corn.
Philbrick brings in all marvelously to life.
And in doing so, he restores the richness, complexity, and ambiguity of the real world.
The arrival of the Pilgrims wasn't the first contact New England Indians had with Europeans--and those earlier contacts had brought diseases the Native Americans had no previous encounter with. What had been a thickly settled region was now startlingly empty, with many whole villages wiped out diseases that killed so many there weren't enough healthy people to care for the sick. There was, in fact, room for the Pilgrims--if they could learn to live with their neighbors, and their neighbors could learn to live with them.
Philbrick gives us the fascinating tale of how, for fifty years, the Pilgrims and the local Indian tribes, most notably the Pokanoket, under the leadership of Massasoit, built an often uneasy but mutually beneficial working relationship that benefited all the groupings involved. We see the ways the Indians and the English influenced each other, learned from each other, and helped each other.
And then we see how it all broke down, first under Massasoit's older son, Alexander, and then his younger son, Philip--as well as the sons and grandsons of the English founders, including Josiah Winslow, William Bradford, Benjamin Church, and others--engaged in a cascading series of poor decisions, failures of diplomacy, and failures to communicate.
All the peoples and cultures involved were more complex and interesting than the standard version, and that includes the Pilgrims, the Massachusetts Bay colony,and the different Indian tribes.
I bought this book.
This work is what you would expect from Philbrick; detailed and easy to read with a stunning amount of information for a relatively short volume. The narrator is first rate. Two thumbs up.
This was a very good book. Well written and easy to read and understand, This book is full of complexity. This book tells a tale that is niether a slaughter of innocents by greedy Europeans, nor a story of rugged proto-Americans in a savage new land, nor an idealistic fairytale of peace. This is the story of people with people trying to survive in tough times
We're it not for the humane exploits of William Bradford and Benjamin Church one can only imagine how differently seeming inconsequential actions may have influenced this countries evolution. Emerging from sickness, surrounded by death and scant protection from the raw bitter cold of the New England; Bradford emerged miraculously to form a bond with local Indians who had theretofore resolved to eliminate intruders on their land. Church, a grandson of the Mayflower, would use discretion and forbearance to put an end to King Phillip's War. The details and the individual sacrifices in this book will rivit the reader to his seat.
Perspective of four centuries. Much more details than the usual account. Makes the events and people seem alive and enriches our understanding of human nature