The Mayflower's religious refugees arrived in Plymouth Harbor during a period of crisis for Native Americans as disease spread by European fishermen devastated their populations. Initially the two groups, the Wampanoags, under the charismatic and calculating chief Massasoit, and the Pilgrims, whose pugnacious military officer Miles Standish was barely five feet tall, maintained a fragile working relationship. But within decades, New England would erupt into King Philip's War, a savagely bloody conflict that nearly wiped out English colonists and natives alike and forever altered the face of the fledgling colonies and the country that would grow from them.
With towering figures like William Bradford and the distinctly American hero Benjamin Church at the center of his narrative, Philbrick has fashioned a fresh and compelling portrait of the dawn of American history, a history dominated right from the start by issues of race, violence, and religion.
©2006 Nathaniel Philbrick; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Recorded Books, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Impeccably researched and expertly rendered, Philbrick's account brings the Plymouth Colony and its leaders...vividly to life. More importantly, he brings into focus a gruesome period in early American history." (Publishers Weekly)
Mayflower is a fascinating account of a two early episodes in American History. The first period - the emigration of the Pilgrims from the Old World to the New is of course well-known, but not particularly well-understood. The basic story is there and (thankfully) the outline is what we all tend to believe. However, the details of the Pilgrims and that first Thanksgiving are nothing that you have learned in school. The initial chapters about the fitting out of the Mayflower (and the Speedwell) and the financial macinations are a bit tedious, but the story picks up very quickly with the voyage across the ocean and the landing around (but likely not on) Plymouth Rock.
The second period, King Philip's War, leads directly from the first but is much less famous. It takes place 50 years later than the Pilgrim's landing and is fascinating in its own right. The background gained from the study of the events at Plymouth in the 1620's allows for a deeper understanding of King Philip's War that would have been impossible in a stand-alone context.
The narrator does an excellent job with the pronounciations of the Indian proper and place names. It is a little confusing at first, but by the end of the book the names are familiar and easily recognizable. If you are interested in early Colonial history, I definitely recommend this book.
This book revisits the story of the passengers of the Mayflower, the preparation for the trip, the founding of the Plimoth colony, and the turbulent interaction between natives and a rapidly growing English population, leading to King Philip war in 1675. The author succeeds in bringing the characters to life by expertly presenting their perspectives, values and aspirations. The book is thoroughly researched and very engaging. The narration is outstanding.
Overall the first half of the book moves at an even pace, fairly easy to follow until the author skips back and forth all over history's timeline to embellish episodes of an individual character before getting back to the sequence of events in the drama. The reader's tone is mellow and drawn out without much emotion. The insight into the Native American's lifestyle is facsinating, unlike anything I have read to date.
This is a wonderful book. The author tells such a compelling story that once the book was finished I found myself missing the characters. You won't be dissappointed.
Just what I was looking for. A well documented and well researched story about the Mayflower with a very good reader. Highly recommend.
By the time I had listened to only the prologue this book had my full attention! As a former elementary teacher I hope that future history books will include the perspective and the facts presented here. Young people need the to know the background of their national heritage to be better informed for opinions in their adult futures. As it stands now - that doesn't exist in our schools. A Wonderful and enlightening book with a captivating narration.
The true story of the Pilgrims? Seems a lot more realistic than the picture book images of the first Thanksgiving that we all grew up with. Living in the Northeast makes it that much more familiar. Lots of Indian names, and following what tribe is on which side during some of the wars gets a bit confusing, but the whole story is fascinating. Life wasn't so easy (or peaceful) back then -- for anyone! Good book, excellent narration.
This book covers a century. It has a large cast of historical figures, but not too large. I feel it focuses much less on the history of the Mayflower, and much more of the relations between the Indians and the Mayflower settlers and their descendents. It highlights both the day-to-day curiousities of the relationships, and makes me wonder how things could have been different. If you are looking for a book on the Mayflower, here instead is a great book about King Philip's War.
I love books and animals.I enjoy all sorts of genres, anything from history to supernatural.
The main focus of this book is - the voyage of the Mayflower, its passengers, and the surrounding events that span about 50 years.
It was particularly intersting to hear how turbulant the relationship was between the Native Americans and Pilgrims.
The author uses an incredible amount of detail that make all the facts tangible and easy to listen to.
The narrator is one of my favorites and I think he does a great job.
Overall, if you enjoy historical non-fictions - you might want to try this. The only reason I did not give this a perfect 5 star was because the author jumped a little in the beginning of the book; and it was a little hard to follow at first.
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