Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, And War

Editorial Review - - Colleen Quinn

When we think of the Pilgrims, it's Thanksgiving that comes to mind placid people with big buckles on their shoes, dining once a year with two or three Indians. Nathaniel Philbrick's new book shows the Pilgrims to have been anything but placid. He tells us what the Mayflower passengers experienced, and then shows how the next generation coped with the world they had created. This easily could have ... Read full review

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Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee - The Early Years
The systematic genocide of the Original Americans began long before the US government codified it's decimation of the Indian Peoples, so well
chronicled by Dee Brown in his now iconic classic, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." The truth of the matter is that we need look no further than to the Mayflower. Yes, the English immigrants who hopped on that mythologized vessel to avoid their own religious persecution, played a key role in helping to shape the attitudes & subsequent behavior of our nation's people to come. Well, what I just intimated is not entirely fair. The actual Pilgrims who first arrived on these shores found themselves in such a weakened position - barely able to feed themselves - concluded that they had to discover common ground with their new neighbors. And, so they did, collaborating & compromising so that both groups could survive & prosper. The real culpability can be laid at the doorsteps of the next generation of Pilgrims & Puritans & Native Americans who forgot that they all needed one another. In that "forgetting" came the seeds for the King Philip's War which is what the "Mayflower" is all about. Philbrick does a simply brilliant job of introducing us to a host of characters - Native Americans, Pilgrims, Puritans, politicians, warriors, statesmen, entrepreneurs, charlatans & thieves - who make this drama come alive. From Benjamin Church, a true hero of that war, a man who "embraced the wilderness his forefathers has shunned" to Captain Samuel Mosley whose motto was : "get mad and get even" and also allegedly the man responsible for coining the slur "the only good Indian is a dead Indian," Philbrick recreates for us the society, Caucasian & Indian, that laid the ground work for the heartbreaking tragedies that unfolded. Regardless of the accountability that existed on both sides, at the end of the day, it was the Original Inhabitants who got the short end of the stick. Prior to the onset of the war Native Americans "constituted almost 30% of the population of New England." Following the war that percent was reduced to less than 15% A tradition had been established & it was not nearly as cheery as the Pilgrim's famous Thanksgiving. 

Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

User Review  - Dede - Goodreads

This book definitely helped me appreciate a part of history I haven't understood well. The Pilgrims had a great beginning with the Mayflower Compact, and a means to govern many diverse groups. I ... Read full review

Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

User Review  - Dan - Goodreads

As a big fan of early American historical fiction, I decided to take a chance with a straight history book (eg no fiction) and turned back the clock a bit to learn something about the Pilgrims and the ... Read full review

Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

User Review  - Susan - Goodreads

Very well researched but relentlessly grim. I wish the author had added more lengthy eyewitness accounts -- especially from Mary Rowlandson (much of which I've read and are riveting)to break up what ... Read full review

Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

User Review  - Jodi - Goodreads

Nathaniel Philbrick's talent for taking history and making it come alive is unmatched! I absolutely loved In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower was just as compelling and fascinating. He does not ... Read full review

Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

User Review  - Andrew Scholes - Goodreads

Yeah, that's exactly the way I learned it in Junior High. . . .NOT. I think the Junior High version is just a tad abbreviated and romanticized. Read full review

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