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)
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.
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.
An interesting and detailed story of the Mayflower - but really much more about the first 40 years on this soil. Intersting descriptions of the first landing in Provincetown and then how the ship moved along the Cape shore untimately ending in Plymouth. But that is really only the first 1/3 of the book. Long descriptions of the relationship with native americans and frankly not always a very positive view of how the puritans treated the "indians" or of the numerous wars. The King Phillip War descriptions are lenghty - possibly too long. Worth the read.
This is the second nonfiction I've read by Nathaniel Philbrick. The first was "In The Heart of The Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex." Both have been page turners for me.
Before I read "Mayflower," I only *thought* I knew the story. Philbrick cleared up some false impressions, shed light on incorrect but long-held beliefs, and filled in a lot of blanks. I found it all quite captivating.
If you're not inclined to read "Mayflower," for whatever reason, I strongly encourage you to try "In The Heart of the Sea." Don't think for a second that it might bore you. You'll miss an exciting account of a true event in history that eventually influenced Herman Melville in the writing of "Moby Dick." (Oh, I forgot: I read Philbrick's "Why Read Moby Dick." I have "Sea of Glory" on my bookshelf waiting for my attention. And, if anyone's interested in Custer, he has written "The Last Stand." So much to read, so little time.)
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I was expecting this to be the story of the Pilgrims, and I was looking forward to reading a detailed account instead of the pablum we all get in school. However, the Pilgrims are just the starting point. It's really about the clash of cultures and how the situation devolved from the idyllic scenario that's usually presented to the pattern that would repeat itself over and over in American history. It's an epic story and food for thought for anyone who wants to understand what it takes for peoples to live in peace with each other and why it's so hard. As for the Pilgrims, it leaves me wondering whether they're even deserving of having a whole book devoted to them.
The first third or so of the book deals with the Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and the founding of the Plymouth Colony. I greatly enjoyed that part of the book. From there the narrative drifts from the Pilgrims to a history of relations with the local Indians. Most of the book deals with the breakdown of these relations and ends with King Philip's War.
Max Fisher of Rushmore Academy
This was an outstanding look at a key period of American history. The narrative was engaging, the stories were compelling, and the reading was flawless.
The Pilgrim story not glorified, not glamorized. Insight into the Indian - Settler relationship. Cohesive, Historical, storytelling. It was real, well done and flowed well until the King Philips War segments of which were disjointed just as the war was. It was scattered as the war was. A horrendous part of our early history not usually presented in our educatioal systems. Everyone should know the senerio portrayed. I learned and I liked it. Recommended
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.
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