Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

by Nathaniel Philbrick
3.9 131


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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

"Vivid and remarkably fresh...Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages."
—The New York Times Book Review

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history
New York Times Book Review Top Ten books of the Year

How did America begin? That simple question launches the acclaimed author of Bunker Hill and Valiant Ambition on an extraordinary journey to understand the truth behind our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. As Philbrick reveals in this electrifying history of the Pilgrims, the story of Plymouth Colony was a fifty-five year epic that began in peril and ended in war. New England erupted into a bloody conflict that nearly wiped out the English colonists and natives alike. These events shaped the existing communites and the country that would grow from them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143111979
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/24/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 67,481
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award; Mayflower, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award; Sea of GloryThe Last StandWhy Read Moby Dick?Away Off Shore; and most recently, Valiant Ambition. He lives in Nantucket.


Nantucket, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

June 11, 1956

Place of Birth:

Boston, Massachusetts


B.A., Brown University, 1978; M.A., Duke University

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Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 131 reviews.
hotfingers More than 1 year ago
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.
Joseph_N More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for my birthday and i was sceptical, once i gave it a try i cold not put it down
AndInTheEnd More than 1 year ago
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.
Tonyp152 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
timberline More than 1 year ago
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.
ruthiesews More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A careful narrative of the Pilgrim colony from founding to a brutal war with the Indians. Incredibly fair and interesting story of two cultures bound together in murky need, then separated in the same murk.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic, eead like a novel, but thoroughly researched. The best book on the market about this topic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
Well-written and detailed with excellent notes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.