Plimoth Plantation
Photo of Plimoth Plantation by romulusnr used under a Creative Commons license.

Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (Viking, 2006).
Really two histories in one book. The first is an account of the Pilgrims settling in Plymouth, from their departure from England for Holland, to their wind-blown arrival in what is now Massachusetts (instead of the mouth of the Hudson River, as per their charter), to their tumultuous dealings with local Native Americans. Philbrick then jumps ahead fifty years to to King Philips’s War between colonists and natives, in relative terms the bloodiest conflict in the country’s history. The conflict spread from southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island across New England, and saw the destruction of many colonial towns, including those along the Connecticut River valley, as well as the death, starvation and exile of huge numbers of Native Americans. Both histories are compelling on their own, and Philbrick is interested in the ways that relations between the peoples changed in those five decades collects several reviews here. Others include Russell Shorto (The New York Times Book Review); Richard B. Speed (History News Network); Melanie Lauwers (The Cape Cod Times); David Dxurec (eHistory at Ohio State University). Writing in Indian Country Today, Paula Peters says that though he tries to be fair, Philbrick slants the story in favor of the Pilgrims. Alden Mudge interviews Philbrick. Worthwhile blog posts from Gentle Reader, JohnSherck, Liam Sullivan, Victor Niederhoffer, Jeff Grim, and Sarah. And you can listen to a brief piece on NPR’s All Things Considered.

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