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William Bradford's OF PLIMOTH PLANTATION is a must-read, not only for those interested in the early colonial history of America but really for anyone. Most Americans are familiar with the tales of the Pilgrim's coming over on the Mayflower; their struggle for survival; that they received aid from the local natives.
What one will learn from this history is what prompted the Pilgrims to leave England in the first place; where they went prior to their voyage to America; that their landing at Plymouth was a complete accident; that they experimented with socialism, and like so many others who do so, get repeatedly burnt by it until they decide to try something else: a little individual responsibility, which in turn leads to prosperity.
The religiously-minded will feel the very same Providence of God at work that most assuredly the Pilgrims did; the atheist will be astonished at the sheer continual events of chance that ultimately work in the Pilgrims' favor.
This work is more than a history. It's not a stretch to call it an adventure. There is enough drama, miraculous events, chance happenings, and strokes of luck and misfortune to make one wonder why this isn't already an extended series on TV, such as Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead. In this history, you will read about persecution, piracy, adultery, rape, backroom deals, and intrigue. Who could ask for anything more?
But be warned! It is transcribed from William Bradford's English as written in the 1650. This can be a challenge at first (for example,strange typography such as "ye" for "the", "yt" for "that", "wch" for "which", as well as alternate spellings, such as "viage" for "voyage" and so on), but one quickly gets the hang of it.