Customer Reviews for

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Excellent book, thought provoking, enlightening

Excellent read, copious amounts of information. The author does an excellent job at laying out the facts of what really transpired in those early days on this continent. I was impressed, ashamed, and in awe of the colonists. Not your elementary story of Thanksgiving.

posted by Joseph_N on February 19, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

History via generals and battles

I was disappointed in this book. Thought I'd get a picture of the MAYFLOWER's *journey*. And after that I was looking for settlement information, how they lived and created their new communities, personal commentary on everyday life. Instead, the book was filled with th...
I was disappointed in this book. Thought I'd get a picture of the MAYFLOWER's *journey*. And after that I was looking for settlement information, how they lived and created their new communities, personal commentary on everyday life. Instead, the book was filled with the usual political-military minutiae of history books: leaders, battles, maneuvers, battle detail--who did what to whom. I did like the balance of responsibility between Native Americans and the English settlers. The only place I really became interested was when the woman captive related her observations. I found this book to be a tedious read.

posted by Anonymous on February 19, 2007

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 7
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How did America begin? The story behind the extraordinary journey that launched our nation.

    Nathaniel Philbrick writes a provocative and revealing story about our country's beginnings. He not only shows us the truth behind some of our most treasured myths regarding our country's beginnings, but reveals a fifty year epic that is filled with tragedy and heroism. From the drama of the initial voyage of the Mayflower to King Philip's War fifty years later the author shows us the human story behind the historic events. He brings to life characters whose names have been legend. He also addresses many disturbing issues regarding race, economic opportunity, religious freedom and war. A must read for history buffs or anyone who just likes a ripping good tale.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent book, thought provoking, enlightening

    Excellent read, copious amounts of information. The author does an excellent job at laying out the facts of what really transpired in those early days on this continent. I was impressed, ashamed, and in awe of the colonists. Not your elementary story of Thanksgiving.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    Will Change Your Ideas of Thanksgiving

    By far one of the most interesting historical books I've read recently. Everyone knows the traditional "Thanksgiving Day scenerio", this gives the reader a true picture of the real relationship between the Pilgrims and the Native Indians. It was an eye opener and I'd highly recommend it!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    Must Read For History Buffs

    I read this book mostly to find out more information on my ancestor John Howland, but I ended up learning more about this early American settlement than I did in school. I always thought that once the Pilgrims landed and had the first Thanksgiving that was it. I was wrong, I didn't know about all the struggles that they were put through, how much they suffered when they arrived. If you like American History, you should definitely pick this title up.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Brings History Alive

    I listened to this book on CD . Having it read to me by the excellent narrator was a special treat. I love reading history, especially early American history. This book gives insights into the Pilgrims' and Puritans' lives in the 17th century, their ever changing relationships with the native population and the human strengths and weaknesses that shaped our country's history. Often I was amazed at how many parallels there were to modern time politics and how in many ways human behaviour has not changed in 400 years. A fascinating book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    Not out of Hollywood

    Damn, I thought the indians were invented by Hollywood and pilgrims were anybody that John Wayne didn't remember their first name. Finally, we get the full story via Philbrick -- and what a story. Imagine you are a native American and you are looking out to sea when a ship appears bearing a bunch of white people who will be elbowing you off your land in a couple of decades. I'm surprised the indians didn't get rid of these 'interlopers' immediately. Seriously, though, this book tells us more about the start-up of America than most of what we learned in school. It puts a human face on the early settlers as well as the natives -- neither much diffferent than they are today. In other words 'human.' Anyone who thinks they know our early history should not miss this telling -- a fine piece of work.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    History via generals and battles

    I was disappointed in this book. Thought I'd get a picture of the MAYFLOWER's *journey*. And after that I was looking for settlement information, how they lived and created their new communities, personal commentary on everyday life. Instead, the book was filled with the usual political-military minutiae of history books: leaders, battles, maneuvers, battle detail--who did what to whom. I did like the balance of responsibility between Native Americans and the English settlers. The only place I really became interested was when the woman captive related her observations. I found this book to be a tedious read.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2006

    READ THIS BOOK

    As a meer boy of 14 I thought that it would take me weeks to read this book. It took me about a week to get to page 90, but, then I really got into it and I couldn't put it down. Two days later I was finished. I thought that it read like a novel. All aspects of this book, especially with the action parts, were masterfully written. I just thought that the name of the book shouldn't of been called Mayflower because it was only mentioned breifly. Other than that, I thought it the best non-fiction book that I've ever read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Turned me into a history buff

    I got this book for my birthday and i was sceptical, once i gave it a try i cold not put it down

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2011

    An important piece of the puzzle to American history

    Like many of the best history novels, this one is a personal discovery by the reader into our past. It enlightens you into the pure humanity of those who have since been mythologized. These were people, with their faults, but also their ideals. Sometimes it's important to be reminded that not all of the historical figures from our past were menacing crusaders, but simply humans in search of a better life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Useful History

    This book has been called "revisionist history". Maybe so, but it is a very good attempt to consider all of the characters and situations influencing the first 55 years of the first long term European settlement in what has come to be known as New England. Mr. Philbrick delves into the motivations and beliefs of all of the parties involved and generally, but not always, uses great restraint in his judgement of their actions. To his credit, he goes out of his way to temper his editorial comment to be meaningful when considered against the beliefs, customs, and histories of the people involved, pointing out how they may have justified or rationalized actions that played out across the region, changing it forever.

    Growing up in the region that this epic drama played out in, and having a great interest in the time period covered in the book, I was impressed with his research and continuity of story abilities. He fleshed out a lot of situations I had heard about, and also introduced me to significant conflicts and periods that I had never heard of but which were germaine to the story. Fascinating history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    A fascinating story not to be missed...

    Nathaniel Philbrick has presented the Mayflower saga in a facinating and humbling account of fortitude, bravery and wretched indignation that can only be seen as the real story. How sad it is that we can so quickly forget that survival can depend on our relationships with others. There is no doubt that overwhelming numbers ensured our continuance on this continent and sealed the fate of the 'true native Americans'. Perhaps the lessons of the Bradfords and the Churches aren't outdated and might have some meaning today if we had sense enough to embrace them. Mega cudo's to an author who ranks in my top 2 : Philbrick and King

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    OK

    MORE LIKE A DETAILED TEXT BOOK

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Misleading title

    Little about The Mayflower, much about the settlng of New England states. If you are from the area of Boston, you will probably find some interesting points regarding local folklore, legends and such.
    For the rest of us, not so much.
    Very disapointing from an author who gave us such an epic sea faring adventure as Heart of theSea.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Mayflower, A Story of Courage, Community and War

    Forget the history you were taught in the fifth grade about the Pilgrims. Disavow yourself of notions of English emigrants seeking religious liberty for all. Purge yourself of the anecdotal fraternity among black-suited Puritans and wampum-clad Native Americans. Nathaniel Philbrick, in Mayflower, provides a well-researched and extensive history of what really happened in New England between 1620, when the Pilgrims "borrowed" the Indians’ winter supplies of corn, and 1676, when the last warriors were executed, pacified or sold as slaves. His chronology of two cultures adapting to each other is thorough and insightful. While the Wampanoag, Narragansett, Pequot and other nations had their legends, it’s instructive to see in Mayflower how today’s Americans’ myths derive from the discovery of William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation,” publication of Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” and President Lincoln turning Thanksgiving into a gluttonous holiday. (The Wampanoag may be getting their revenge through government approval a casino in Marlborough, Mass.) Philbrick’s thesis isn’t to denigrate the English in early America as much as it is to chronicle the mistakes that led to hostilities between tribes and settlers. “There are two possible responses to a world suddenly gripped by terror and contention. There is [one] way: get mad and get even. But as the course of King Philip’s War proved, unbridled arrogance and fear only feed the flames of violence.” Philbrick’s history lesson was as true in 1676 as it is now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Mayflower

    A very good look at the entire time period of which the Mayflower was a part. America was a varied and complex place with the many different types and varieties of Native American tribes, along with the many types and varieties of colonists. Good information on some of the individuals involved and good coverage of King Philip's war.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2006

    Mayflower. or indian history?

    I was disappointed with the book. I felt that the author spent more on indian history of that time and blaming the pilgrims for everything that could go wrong. Althought the pilgrims were not any better then we are as humans today, he seemed to constantly put them as bad a light as possible. The indians were just as opportunistic as the europeans who came here to change their lives. Both people made mistakes and were not perfect, but making the pilgrims as the fall guys for everything that went wrong just doesn't get it. I had recently read the book about Manhattan and found that much more informative and more insiteful as to the beginnings of our country.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2006

    The Pilgrims you never studied in school.

    This book tells the Mayflower story in a way you never studied in school. Philbrick writes about the Pilgrims and the Indians whose names you knew--but he develops their relationships, inter-dependency, and rift (culminating in war) in a whole new way. This history is very REAL--with issues not unlike today. It is a page-turner, something not often said about historical non-fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Very tough read. I found I wasn't the only person who had to ta

    Very tough read. I found I wasn't the only person who had to take notes with all the names, info, tribes, etc. I loaned it to a friend and got it back with all their notes in it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Mayflower

    Well-written and detailed with excellent notes

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