They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty

They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty

by John G. Turner


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Published for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's landing, this ambitious new history of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony "will become the new standard work on the Plymouth Colony.” (Thomas Kidd) 
"Informative, accessible, and compelling. . . . A welcome invitation to rediscover the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony."—Daniel M. Gullotta, Christianity Today

"[An] excellent new history. . . .  [Turner] asserts that the Pilgrims matter for more than their legend, and he deftly uses the history of Plymouth to explore ideas of liberty in the American colonies."—Nathanael Blake, National Review
In 1620, separatists from the Church of England set sail across the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower. Understanding themselves as spiritual pilgrims, they left to preserve their liberty to worship God in accordance with their understanding of the Bible.
There exists, however, an alternative, more dispiriting version of their story. In it, the Pilgrims are religious zealots who persecuted dissenters and decimated Native peoples through warfare and by stealing their land. The Pilgrims’ definition of liberty was, in practice, very narrow.
Drawing on original research using underutilized sources, John G. Turner moves beyond these familiar narratives in his sweeping and authoritative new history of Plymouth Colony. Instead of depicting the Pilgrims as otherworldly saints or extraordinary sinners, he tells how a variety of English settlers and Native peoples engaged in a contest for the meaning of American liberty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300225501
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 77,708
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

John G. Turner is professor of religious studies at George Mason University and the award-winning author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. He lives in Burke, Virginia.

Bob Souer is a full-time professional storyteller and narrator. He has narrated numerous audiobooks, as well as broadcast and nonbroadcast projects for corporations and ministries across North America. You've heard Bob's voice on CBS, PBS, the History Channel, and many other networks.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Notes on the Text ix

Introduction 1

1 The Lord's Free People 7

2 Leiden 27

3 Mayflower 47

4 Thanksgiving 62

5 Good News 85

6 Sacraments 105

7 The Lord of Misrule 120

8 Out of Small Beginnings 136

9 Soul Liberty 145

10 Hope 155

11 Freemen and Freedom 177

12 Salamanders 192

13 Friends 216

14 Subjection 243

15 War 270

16 Cannibals 288

17 Children of Life and Death 299

18 Bitter Cups 321

19 Taxation and Representation 338

Conclusion 362

List of Abbreviations 367

Notes 373

Index 427

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