The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World

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Overview

Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Mayflower!

After a dangerous journey across the Atlantic, the Mayflower's passengers were saved from certain destruction with the help of the Natives of the Plymouth region. For fifty years a fragile peace was maintained as Pilgrims and Native Americans learned to work together. But when that trust was broken by the next generation of leaders, a conflict erupted that nearly wiped out Pilgrims and Natives alike. Adapted from the New York...

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Overview

Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Mayflower!

After a dangerous journey across the Atlantic, the Mayflower's passengers were saved from certain destruction with the help of the Natives of the Plymouth region. For fifty years a fragile peace was maintained as Pilgrims and Native Americans learned to work together. But when that trust was broken by the next generation of leaders, a conflict erupted that nearly wiped out Pilgrims and Natives alike. Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Mayflower specifically for younger readers, this edition includes additional maps, artwork, and archival photos.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Susan Hampe
Philbrick adapts his bestseller Mayflower: A Story of Community, Courage, and War (Viking, 2006) for young adult audiences here. Philbrick splits the book into three parts titled Discovery, which traces their journey and arrival; Community, which describes their relations with each other and the Indians; and War, which examines the causes and results of King Philip's war. Philbrick often refers to firsthand documents, explaining their significance in tracing the story though the generations of Pilgrims and Indians, providing a fair account of the interaction and conflict between the groups and why their early partnership collapsed into war. Philbrick uses a narrative style that does an amazing job of drawing in readers, keeping them captivated by a story that reads more like fiction than nonfiction. With only a few slow parts, the momentum carries the reader through at a steady pace. Details are introduced to the story commonly taught in texts to expand upon the basics, providing a more complete picture of early life and history in America. Added to this edition is a collection of helpful maps and pictures of various artifacts that the Pilgrims used, creating an even more vivid picture of the world the Pilgrims lived in. This book makes an excellent addition to the classroom or any bookshelf. Reviewer: Susan Hampe
Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
Adapted by the author from his National Book Award-winning adult version, this excellent history of the Pilgrims' voyage to and settlement in America details the privations of the early 1600s through King Philip's War in 1675 and 1676. The first Pilgrim families came from a Separatist congregation that had left England and settled in Leiden, Holland, because they could not worship as they wished at home. Since they could not afford the trip to the new world on their own, they contracted with a group of English investors called the Adventurers to earn back their travel and supplies through profits from the cod fishing and fur trades. These Pilgrims numbered about fifty of the 102 Mayflower passengers. The other passengers, referred to as Strangers, planned on improving their fortunes in the new world. The two month voyage ended at Cape Cod in mid-November, 1620. With their supplies badly depleted, the weary group spent weeks looking for a place to settle and finally reached the spot they named Plymouth on December 12. Disease, hunger, and harsh weather brought so much death to the settlement that by spring only fifty-two of the original 102 passengers had survived. Early encounters with the Indian population were mixed, but when the Pokanoket sachem, Massasoit, visited the Pilgrims, an agreement was struck that worked well for both groups. Other Indian tribes were less friendly and serious quarrels broke out, but for a number of years the Pilgrims and Indians coexisted. As new settlers arrived from England, though, and as the settlers established more towns in the area, the problems grew. In 1662 Massasoit's son Philip became the new sachem. The Indians' ability to feed themselves hadalready diminished as they sold land to the English in order to buy guns and other goods. Relations continued to deteriorate, and in 1675 the Indians began to kill settler's livestock and rob their houses. On June 23, an English boy shot and wounded an Indian and the Indians took it as a sign to begin their war against the English in earnest. The fierce and bloody war, which killed eight percent of the settlers' men and resulted in a loss of sixty to eighty percent of the Native American population through death, enslavement, and emigration to other tribes, lasted through the summer of 1676, ending with the death of Philip and most of his chief supporters. The clear, readable text should appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about U.S. colonial history. The book is extensively illustrated with black-and-white photographs, drawings, and maps. The text is followed by a three-page time line, William Bradford's list of the original Mayflower passengers, a list of selected readings, and an index. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Abridged and adapted from Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (Penguin, 2007), this volume highlights both the Pilgrims' determination to find and settle a home where they could worship freely and the perilous journey that it took to make that happen. In accessible prose, the author shatters the American myth of the landing at Plymouth Rock and the first Thanksgiving, instead describing how the Pilgrims first landed on Cape Cod, finding only sandy soil and seemingly hostile, terrifying natives. They eventually moved on to the shores of Plymouth Bay, encountering a more hospitable environment for settlement. Using William Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation as a primary source of information, Philbrick brings to life many of the major figures from history, including Miles Standish, Benjamin Church, Squanto, and William Bradford himself. The various maps, reproductions of historical documents, photographs of significant locations, and illustrations all come together with the text to help separate fact from legend and create a realistic, readable portrayal of the Pilgrims and their first 50 years in America. General readers and students of American history will find plenty to interest them, as many of the encounters with the Native Americans are of dubious intent and usually quite bloody, though Philbrick is careful not to lay blame on any one group or person. An excellent addition to history collections.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Kirkus Reviews
This elegant, absorbing account of the first two generations of Pilgrims sets the record straight about the first Thanksgiving and the following five decades. The chronological narrative, shortened from Mayflower, Philbrick's 2006 work for adults, details the initial uneasy alliance of Pilgrims and local tribes. As more settlers arrived wanting land, tensions increased and finally the King Philip's War ensued, causing the death of about 70 percent of local Indians and eight percent of male colonists. The eye-opening descriptions make no bones of the brutality of the colonists, who slaughtered trapped women and children and triumphantly displayed enemies' heads on posts at Plymouth Colony. The author masterfully brings both sides to life with an evenhanded sense of their complex motives and cultural differences. The many quotes are usually attributed to a source in context, but there are no endnotes and only a limited reading list. A "List of Characters" and detailed timeline, along with well-captioned visuals and a series of maps, make the complicated narrative easy to follow. (Mayflower passenger list; index not seen) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414583
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/15/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 144,627
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Philbrick

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.

Biography

Champion sailboat racer Nathaniel Philbrick is one of the premier authorities on New England's Nantucket Island, and an all around aficionado of maritime activities. Ever since he published his first book, a short, humorous take on sailing titled The Passionate Sailor, Philbrick has been sharing that passion with readers. Whether exploring his beloved Nantucket or tracing tragedies and triumphs on the open sea throughout history, Philbrick is the writer of some of the most illuminating and harrowing histories to come sailing across bookshelves in the past decade.

While Philbrick broke into publishing with the lighthearted The Passionate Sailor, he truly established his role as a chronicler of Nantucket—the one-time whaling capital of the world—with his second book, Away Off Shore. Instead of focusing on the colorfully quaint legends that hardly scrape the surface of Nantucket's rich history, Philbrick chose to take a more sober look at the island and how it rose to success. He brought that same objectivity to subsequent books such as Abram's Eyes, which delves into the vast Native American population of Nantucket, separating folklore from historical evidence, and his breakthrough In the Heart of the Sea. Here, Philbrick takes a fascinating look at the legendary sinking of the Essex, a tale that would form the backbone of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. If anything, the true story of a wayward ship's encounter with a giant whale is even more terrifying and gripping than anything in Melville's imagination. In the Heart of the Sea is at its core a tragedy rife with painful ironies, fatal decisions, cannibalism, and a final encounter with a furious sperm whale.

The key to this National Book Award winner is that it is told with all the flair and suspense of any fictional story. "What I really like is narrative-driven non-fiction," Philbrick explained to Barnes & Noble.com. "A story is important for anyone to engage with what happened in the past." Just as Philbrick used this tactic to relate the tragedy of the Essex, he used it to tell of the triumphant U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838 in Sea of Glory. No less engaging than its predecessor, Sea of Glory is almost like the yang to the shadowy yin of In the Heart of the Sea, gloriously recounting a grander ocean expedition than that of Lewis and Clark, a quest to map the entire Pacific Ocean that would lead to the discovery of Antarctica.

Philbrick's next book retells a story with which most American schoolchildren are familiar but only through a filter of benign Thanksgiving pageants. The story of the pilgrim's journey to Plymouth Rock told in Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War is quite a different tale. Philbrick was not exactly burning to revisit this well-traveled chapter in history, saying of the Mayflower's voyage, "what could be more boring?" However, once he peeled away the holiday wrapping, he discovered a dark web of violence, starvation, illness, death, and war to rival the tragedy of In the Heart of the Sea. It is as if the pilgrim and Indian's story, as well as their true nature, is being revealed for the very first time, with provocative depictions of a bloody-thirsty Miles Standish and a duplicitous Squanto.

The Library Journal boldly declared that Mayflower was "clearly one of the year's best books" of 2006, and it is certainly one of the most riveting, a historical work that reads like great fiction written by a master at the peak of his abilities.

Good To Know

When Philbrick was a young boy, his father, a professor of English literature with a focus on Maritime fiction, would tell him about the Essex's tragic sea voyage as a sort of grim bedtime story.

Nathaniel Philbrick served as a consultant on USA television's 1998 adaptation of Moby Dick starring Patrick Stewart.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Nat Philbrick
    2. Hometown:
      Nantucket, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 11, 1956
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University, 1978; M.A., Duke University
    2. Website:

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