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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War | [Nathaniel Philbrick]

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.
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Publisher's Summary

From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (796 )
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4.1 (229 )
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  •  
    Mollie United States 05-01-13
    Mollie United States 05-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent read, umh, listen!"
    What did you love best about Mayflower?

    I have read this book before, and I have listened to the abridged version as well, but I love all the details, so I wanted to hear it as a whole. Nathaniel Philbrick does a great job of telling the tale of the Pilgrims!


    What other book might you compare Mayflower to and why?

    I'm not sure that there's a book to which I'd compare it.


    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    The book is a history work, so Guidall does not do "voices" for characters because he is not reading fiction.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Mayflower--the story of the Pilgrims survival.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bryan Indianapolis, INDIANA, United States 01-21-13
    bryan Indianapolis, INDIANA, United States 01-21-13

    I enjoy non fiction almost exclusively and especially love the history of Rome, the conquest of the Americas, and early American history from the founding of the earliest colonial settlements to the Antebellum rise of the United States.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great History...!"

    What a great listen! This a a well written account not only of the Puritans that ventured across the Atlantic in 1620 but of their encounter and relationship with the Native Indian people of New England and how these first relationships set the course for future events.
    I've read some reviews chastising Philbrick for a misleading title but I could not disagree more. As he notes in the introduction Philbrick compares two key figures of the ongoing Puritan experiment, William Bradford and Benjamin Church. There is another group that needs to be represented in this history and that is of course, the Native Indians. Philbrick not only gives insights to their prior way of life but to the myriad of upcoming changes for these native people. There is much insight to the world view of these parties involved, their motivations, the courage and loss, and struggle that all people persevere to not only survive but to flourish.
    I would highly recommend this audiobook for anyone interested in early American history or the early encounters of Europeans and the native populations of the Americas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kwt 01-14-13
    kwt 01-14-13

    mama_karen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't forget the Indians!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mayflower to be better than the print version?

    I am listening to Mayflower for the second time. It is so much easier to get through than the print version.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have to say that this book changed how I viewed the time period and the thinking of both the pilgrims and the indians.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to read and digest the thoughts in this book because several of my ancestors were pilgrims. I didn't realize that most of the story would be about the relationship they had with the indians, but I was extremely interested in learning about King Philips war and the second generation's dealings with the natives. I thought it interesting that the author kept calling the pilgrims "the English" because I had always thought that they were Americans from the moment they arrived. In truth, they were English until the revolution which was many generations later.

    This book is definitely non-fiction - with the author's point of view. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in American history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Fairview, Ut, United States 01-02-13
    Gary Fairview, Ut, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Enjoyable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this book because I like history and the way I think the time period covered by this book has influenced our own times and thinking.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sure there is a lot more to the stories behind this book but I liked the positive outlook it presented.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia 10-29-12
    Sylvia 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "More a story about Indians"
    Any additional comments?

    Good book, but less about the Mayflower and more about the early Americans' conflicts with the Indians.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Che Denine 02-06-11
    Che Denine 02-06-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great account"

    I'm no history expert, so I can't opine on historical clarity, accuracy, etc, but I found the book to be excellent - unlike other reviewers, I enjoyed the "hopping" to and fro among decades - it was necessary to make the point that the author was working on. Fascinating material - brings a to home the harsh reality of the second generation's cold treatment of the natives that were so accommodating to their fathers and mothers - seems like history repeats itself, in this respect, even now in America.
    Also, I don't agree with other reviewers about the narrator - I really enjoyed his skill in narration - no offense to Mr. Philbrick, but his voice sounds a bit old and weathered - perfect for the context of the material. I'm looking forward to hear more of his narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Amelia Courthouse, VA, United States 09-03-10
    Dawn Amelia Courthouse, VA, United States 09-03-10 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In praise of Mayflower"

    I would think it is impossible to track such a vast period in history without the details concerning the indians. The indian names are tedious, but necessary. I felt this was a comprehensive and essential perspective of the issues that stemmed from before the pilgrims left their homeland to the living memory of the children of those pilgrims. I enjoyed listening to the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Avondale, PA, USA 03-20-10
    William Avondale, PA, USA 03-20-10 Member Since 2003
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    "Better title - King Phillip's War"

    A good account of the early days of the New England colonies with a focus on the descendants of the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower and their subsequent interactions with the indigenous Indian tribes. Title is misleading. Should have been titled King Phillip's War, one of the bloodiest wars in American history, since that is its focus. Book is balanced and paints an equally honest, and often unflattering, portrait of some of the Pilgrim and Indian leaders of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark C Walker Toney, AL United States 11-04-09
    Mark C Walker Toney, AL United States 11-04-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mixed Bag"

    Part I is actually very good. Strong naration, excellent description of the pilgrims and the Mayflower. In my opinion the book should have ended there. The second part seemed to ramble and really had very little to do with the Mayflower, it should have been a separate book on King Phillips War, and the second part was way too long to the point that it became boring. Abridged version would probably be the better choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Sunnyvale, CA, USA 01-29-09
    Derek Sunnyvale, CA, USA 01-29-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "King Philips War?"

    Covers about a century from 1610 forward. The actual "pilgrims" and the initial settlement is only a small to medium part of the book. Much of it focuses on King Philips War between 2nd generation pilgrims and next generation of native american leaders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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