Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Nathaniel Philbrick
R.E.A.D.S. [Ebook available via Libby]


Reviewed by
Clint Alley, Assistant Library Director

We all know the story--or at least we think we do. Pilgrims in black hats sitting down to eat turkey with friendly Indians at the first Thanksgiving dinner. Squanto helping the Pilgrims plant corn out of the goodness of his heart. And then America is born.

But the truth is far more complex, and far more interesting.

Author Nathaniel Philbrick dives deep and fast into the heart of the story of the Pilgrims of 1620 and the epic saga that unfolded from that first generation of English settlement.


With unrivaled storytelling ability, Philbrick explains the settlement of Plymouth, the myriad motivations of those first settlers, the facts about that often-misunderstood first Thanksgiving, and the gradual deterioration of relations between whites and Native Americans in Massachusetts that led to the horrors of King Philip's War and the near-extermination of both societies within a generation of the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock (or did it? Philbrick debunks several myths about that rock, as well).

Along the way, we see friendships blossom, rivalries develop, and motives questioned. Mayflower lays bare the triumph, suffering, and legacy of that first generation of immigrants and the Native Americans they encountered in an exceptionally-crafted and easy-to-follow story.

Not only is Mayflower a great re-examination of a little-understood period of our history, but it is probably one of the only history books that you will ever describe as a "page-turner."


Don't wait until Thanksgiving, check it out today!