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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.
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Critic Reviews

"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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John M on 02-04-07

Fascinating book about a little-understood time

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.

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33 of 33 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy on 09-04-08

This is a wonderful book

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.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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