A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving

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An original and eye-opening history of our national origins, A Great and Godly Adventure is peppered with delightful and unexpected insights. Godfrey Hodgson sheds new light on the radicalism of the so-called Pilgrims, the financing of their trip, the state of the Indian tribes that they encountered, and the reasons they probably didn't land on the rock.

The Thanksgiving traditions that Hodgson suggests are in fact not traditional at all include the idea that the first ...

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Overview

An original and eye-opening history of our national origins, A Great and Godly Adventure is peppered with delightful and unexpected insights. Godfrey Hodgson sheds new light on the radicalism of the so-called Pilgrims, the financing of their trip, the state of the Indian tribes that they encountered, and the reasons they probably didn't land on the rock.

The Thanksgiving traditions that Hodgson suggests are in fact not traditional at all include the idea that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated with turkey (the Pilgrims' muskets were unlikely to fire fast enough to kill one of the birds), or cranberry sauce (there was no sugar). Indeed, the settlers-who probably didn't think of themselves as Pilgrims and were certainly not revolutionaries against their king-had little to be thankful for: they were lucky not to be wiped out during their first winter.

About the Author:
Godfrey Hodgson an associate fellow at Oxford University's Rothermere American, was director of the Reuters Foundation Programme at Oxford University

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Editorial Reviews

Guardian
In this enjoyable book Hodgson shows how Thanksgiving has evolved from a noisy public festival into a more private, domestic affair.
Library Journal
In his latest masterpiece, Hodgson (visiting journalism professor, City Univ., London; More Equal Than Others: America from Nixon to the New Century) explains in vivid and fascinating detail who the 17th-century Puritans were (they referred to themselves as "the godly"), why they fled England (and later Holland) to emigrate to uncharted America, and how they struggled to establish a religious refuge amid internal and external opposition. Additionally, he offers a provocative discussion of the evolution of the Thanksgiving holiday, debunking the myths about its origin and showing how it was later exploited for religious, political, and commercial purposes. Hodgson's meticulous research provides compelling new insights into the Pilgrims' daily lives and their hostile and eventually violent interactions with the Wampanoags and other Native Americans. Both similar in scope and style to Nathaniel Philbrick's equally masterly The Mayflower, Hodgson's work is much more concise but only slightly less informative and comprehensive. A tremendous boon to American historical scholarship, this book will be enjoyed by scholars and lay readers alike. Recommended for all libraries, though small libraries could get by with Philbrick's title. Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586483739
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Godfrey Hodgson is currently a visiting journalism professor at the City University in London, and has just retired as director of the Reuters Foundation Programme at Oxford University, where for eight years he was a Fellow of Green College. He is the author of four previous books.

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Table of Contents


Prologue. Thanksgiving     vii
The Reformation     1
Scrooby     21
The Waters of Exile     37
Voyage and Landfall     59
A Place of Habitation     77
First Encounters     93
The Loss of Trust     119
The Colony     131
Fasts and Thanksgiving     153
A Republic Gives Thanks     167
Epilogue. The Invention of a Tradition     183
Notes     195
Index     207
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2007

    Queen Elizabeth, The Reformation & The Puritans

    I highly recommend this book. The single best thing the author does is explain how the Reformation impacted Queen Elizabeth's politics in the 16th century. Her actions set the tone and tenor for England's political and religious outlook in the 17th century, which eventually led some of the Puritans to take to the high seas and settle in Massachusetts. In many ways, the American Revolution of the 18th century is the 16th century's Reformation come full circle. The only downside to this book is the presumptious tone the author uses at times. If you can get past that, it's an excellent book.

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