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)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a very good listen for the technical history buff. I enjoyed the easy narrative that almost gave me the feel of being with the pilgrims. The only fault I could find is it ended with the demise of the New England Indians. An update to modern times of Mayflower descendants would have been nice.
It's good to learn the details and stories behind what you thought you knew about this part of American history. The author shows what it took to survive, relationships with Indians and how that relationship changed over time. Beyond a bit too much personal detail at times, this book is an overall good read if you like history.
...history about a little known period of early American history. What I found interesting is that the New World was know by fisherman much earlier than the the first colonies.
It was a complex period of history with intersting character on both sides (Native American and English)
This was the most difficult to finish audio book I've ever listened to. The author added no depth to many of the significant events and individuals in the book. It was like, "oh by the way, she was convicted and hung in Boston Common." or, "on the way home, his boat capsized and he drowned in Chesapeake Bay." Then on to some other event. The author repeatedly glossed over interesting stories, and repeatedly lost my attention.
I began the book looking forward to the pilgrim aspect of the story, but actually found that the less entertaining part of the book. I found the discussion of the religious aspects tedious. The actual crossing is given short shrift. The real meat is in the analysis of the evolution of the relationship early settlers had with the indians.
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