Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Front Cover
Penguin, 2006 - History - 461 pages
956 Reviews

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 bestselling 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 fifty-five-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.

  

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Wonderful book, well researched and well written. - Goodreads
Not the best of history writing. - Goodreads
Very interesting and easy to read. - Goodreads
It had a good premise and lost me. - Goodreads
The book is easy to read and informative. - Goodreads
Fascinating story and terrific writing. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Leslie - Goodreads

I found this book to be very tedious and boring. I wanted to like it as John Alden and Priscilla Mullins are my ancestors... Read full review

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

User Review  - Robert Owen - Goodreads

Nathaniel Philbrick's “Mayflower” is actually much more than its title suggests. In addition to explaining the 1620 passage of a group of now famous religious dissidents to the New World, Philbrick ... Read full review

All 12 reviews »

Contents

two Dangerous Shoals and Roaring Breakers
35
three Into the Void
48
seven Thanksgiving
104
e1ght The Wall
123
ten One Small Candle
161
eleven The Ancient Mother
183
twelve The Trial
198
thIrteen Kindling the Flame
229
fourteen The God of Armies
259
epIlogue Conscience
345
Acknowledgments
360
Bibliography
415
Index
445
Picture Credits
462
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University's first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at "Sailing World" magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including "The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind," and "Yaahting: A Parody."
In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. In 1994, he published his first book about the island's history, "Away Off Shore," followed by a study of the Nantucket's native legacy, "Abram's Eyes." He was the founding director of Nantucket's Egan Maritime Institute and is still a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.
In 2000, Philbrick published the "New York Times" bestseller "In the Heart of the Sea, "which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the forthcoming Warner Bros. motion picture "Heart of the Sea," directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland, which is scheduled for release in March, 2015. The book also inspired a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS American Experience film "Into the Deep" by Ric Burns.
His next book was "Sea of Glory," published in 2003, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. The New York Times Bestseller "Mayflower "was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the "Los Angeles Times" Book Award, won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one the ten Best Books of 2006 by the "New York Times Book Review." "Mayflower" is currently in development as a limited series on FX.
In 2010, he published the "New York Times" bestseller "The Last Stand," which was named a "New York Times" Notable book, a 2010 Montana Book Award Honor Book, and a 2011 ALA Notable Book. Philbrick was an on-camera consultant to the two-hour PBS American Experience film "Custer's Last Stand" by Stephen Ives. The book is currently being adapted for a ten-hour, multi-part television series. The audio book for Philbrick's "Why Read Moby-Dick?" (2011) made the ALA's Listen List in 2012 and was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award.
Philbrick's latest "New York Times" bestseller, "Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution," was published in 2013 and was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award. "Bunker Hill" won the 2014 book award from the Society of Colonial Wars, and has been optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film adaptation with Ben Affleck attached to direct.
Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, and the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society. He was named the 2011 Cushing Orator by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and has an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he delivered the commencement address in 2009.
Philbrick's writing has appeared in "Vanity Fair," the "New York Times Book Review," the "Wall Street Journal," the "Los Angeles Times," and the" Boston Globe." He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBS's American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife still live on Nantucket.

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