Mayflower: A Voyage to War Paperback – 29 Jul 2011
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‘Living history at its best. Engaging and enthralling.’ The Times
‘Philbrick spins a fascinating and richly complex tale. A champion sailor himself, he excels at seafaring scenes…“Mayflower” is an earnest, engaging and spirited work.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Brilliantly constructed. This is more than a small, forgotten war in the first days of America’s development. It is a case study in folly, fear and ignorance…enthralling.’ Observer
A sweeping narrative history.’ Financial Times
About the Author
Nathaniel Philbrick is a historian and broadcaster who has written extensively about sailing. He is Director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies on Nantucket Island, and a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. He was a consultant on the movie ‘Moby Dick’. Aged 50, he has lived on Nantucket with his wife and two children since 1986.
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Top Customer Reviews
To begin with, I am certain so much of what is written in this book is unknown to most people. The story of the Pilgrims has become so commonplace and hackneyed that I don't think many of us even realize what the Pilgrims were really trying to accomplish by immigrating to North America. This book puts to rest any misconceptions, romantic notions or misperceptions about this group of people called the Pilgrims. It attests to the brutal nature of the world during that time and the sometimes-horrible things a people must do to survive. The fact that any of the Pilgrims actually lived through their first few winters on this continent is truly amazing and speaks to their strong stock.
'Mayflower' begins by documenting the decisions faced by these people in England to start their lives over again in a totally different "world". Freedom of religion was their most overriding reason for wanting to begin anew. They needed a place to live and worship free from persecution. The horrific voyage and their landing on the North American shore are all laid out very vividly, and there are side stories and anecdotes about the people and their families, making it possible to have a real connection to the story. In writing about the Native American tribes in the area surrounding Plymouth Colony, it is obvious Nathaniel Philbrick has done his homework. He speaks in excruciating detail about these tribes, their leaders and particularly about their wartime strategies and nomadic ways.Read more ›
As is well known, survival oh a hostile coast was only possible thanks to the co-operation of the friendly local inhabitants. It was a miracle that they survived the first winter. These people were like Cromwell, providentialists, who believed that God was watching over them by his providence. I do not think the author shares their faith but he writes with a sympathetic understanding of it including how the next generation lacked the vital faith of their fathers so later Puritans had the Half Way Covenant rather than requiring credible profession faith from church members.
Philbrick writes well. The book reads like an adventure story at times, especially during the hostilities of King Philip's war when the proportion of the population lost was far higher than any other war on U.S. soil. We also hear that the settler's victory was in part due to the help they received from Praying Indians, converts from the missionary work of John Eliot. The author is thankfully free from the modern trend of political correctness which would view Native Americans as saints and Pilgrims as rapacious colonisers. This is a fair treatment of the good and bad in both communities.I found it a moving read, especially when one read what William Bradford wrote late in life.
Fear not, poor soul, in God still trust,
Fear not the things thou suffer must;
For, whom he loves, he doth chastise,
And then all tears wipes from their eyes.
I was also grateful to learn so much about King Philip's War. According to Philbrick, "When Philip's warriors attacked in June of 1675, it was not because relentless and faceless forces had given the Indians no other choice. Those forces had existed from the very beginning. War came to New England because two leaders - Philip and his English counterpart, Josiah Winslow - allowed it to happen. For Indians and English alike, there was nothing inevitable about King Philip's War, and the outbreak of fighting caught almost everyone by surprise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Iexpected more about the actual voyage of the mayflower,i did not enjoy the book ,90% was concerned with the years after the landing-iPublished 7 months ago by PETER RIGBY
I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of this book which explains why the pilgrims came to America and how they set their society up. Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2014 by Mr Gordon Davidson
Quick service and a book that was in excellent condition, Nathaniel Philbrick always makes a good read regardless of the subject.Published on 6 Dec. 2013 by steve Jackson
I've always enjoyed Nathaniel Philbrick's books; he has a way of turning complicated history into an engaging narrative, and this book on the Pilgrim Fathers is no exception. Read morePublished on 13 May 2013 by C. Ball
Every American knows the story of the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. A group of Puritans escaping religious persecution set sail for America and land on Plymouth Rock. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2012 by R Helen
Every American knows the story of the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. A group of Puritans escaping religious persecution set sail for America and land on Plymouth Rock. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2012 by R Helen
"Mayflower" is the story, not just of a ship and the Pilgrims who sailed on it, but of a Pilgrim people, those who followed them, the Natives with whom they met and interacted and... Read morePublished on 1 May 2012 by James Gallen