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Mayflower Audiobook

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

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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

4.1 (1536 )
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4.2 (893 )
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4.4 (895 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul Rockville, MD, USA 06-19-06
    Paul Rockville, MD, USA 06-19-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Poor Title"

    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.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Kim 06-10-12
    Joshua Kim 06-10-12

    mostly nonfiction listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    154
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    Story
    "Pilgrim's Progress"

    Mayflower is straight ahead historical narrative in the old-fashioned style. This is the books strength and weakness. Strength because the story of the Pilgrims is both essential and compelling. I grew up in Boston and was a history major in college, and yet my understanding of the facts, dates, names, of the Pilgrims is all too hazy. This book helps. The weakness is that I felt often overloaded by the narrative, with Philbrick unwilling to draw broad conclusions or themes from the Pilgrim's experience. Still, I'm pretty excited to bring the girls to Plymouth Plantation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lindal 06-09-17
    lindal 06-09-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    28
    19
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    "The Beginning"

    This is a very thorough and well researched account of not only the initial Mayflower experience, but takes one through those early years of the colony as well. If you like history, and if you want to know more about this period of time, this is a very good source and a very good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Jacques Los Angeles, CA 05-31-17
    Paul Jacques Los Angeles, CA 05-31-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    6
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    "A Great Story, A Little Wonky"
    What made the experience of listening to Mayflower the most enjoyable?

    Some great pictures were painted that brought some rather banal historical events into better context and focus.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Didn't really have one. There are so many characters of essentially equal importance.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by George Guidall?

    Yes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The brutality of the Native Americans and the so-called Christians were equally savage. There was essentially no difference between the "Savages" and the Christian Savages.


    Any additional comments?

    An interesting bit of history but not super-compelling. Boring in places but overall pretty good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-31-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "History we never hear about"

    This was rough to listen to because it is a part of our history that we never hear about in school. I found myself saying "what if" many times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Rockville, MD 02-12-17
    Rob Rockville, MD 02-12-17 Member Since 2016

    achtmeyr

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    "Great history"

    I really loved this account of the first generations in Plymouth. the story really lasts through King Philip's War, and that is the third part really. anyway, a great piece of writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Turner 01-01-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good"

    Enjoyed it. Found the plight of the Indians fascinating. It did drag at times, but would still recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham Garner Earlville, NY 12-22-16
    Graham Garner Earlville, NY 12-22-16 Member Since 2015

    fan of history and politics

    ratings
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    18
    5
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    Story
    "Insightful, important to understand relationship between Europeans and Native Americans"

    This book is roughly divided into three periods: the immigration of the Pilgrims, their interactions with Native Americans, and the conflicts including the Great Swamp Fight and King Phillip's War. It provided great context for the beginning of the white people's history in North America and the ensuing centuries of complicated relationships with Native Americans. I am particularly intrigued to learn more about Benjamin Church, who could be called America's first Army Ranger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 09-01-16
    Christopher 09-01-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    21
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    "Well written, but I struggled to finish it"

    First, credit where it is due: This book was very well written, extremely well researched, and the narration was very good. I really enjoyed the first half that described the lead-up to the voyage, the voyage itself, and the struggle of the first few years. However, once it got into the details of all the different Indian characters, tribes and politics, I quickly got lost, as did my interest. This is more a statement about what holds my interest rather than a reflection on the book itself. For someone who is into deep details of interrelationships, I think this book would be a great fit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda D. Rupp Albuquerque, NM, US 08-31-16
    Linda D. Rupp Albuquerque, NM, US 08-31-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    7
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    "Interesting book"

    Good history, interesting, but it was too long. All the events ran together after a while. Worthwhile, however, especially for history buffs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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