Mayflower : A Story of Courage, Community, and War
Nathaniel PhilbrickISBN: 0670037605;
*Starred Review* Departing from his customary nautical stories, including the phenomenally popular In the Heart of the Sea (2000), Philbrick makes landfall with the saga of the Pilgrims. By necessity, all modern writing about the founding colonists relies on William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, interpreting it through modern historical sensibilities that incorporate native perspectives on the newcomers from across the ocean. Long gone is the once inculcated version of friendly Indians helping starving English religious refugees through hard times. The scholarly thesis now has the Pilgrims arriving amid coastal Indian societies that had been decimated by a pandemic. The Pilgrims appeared in 1620 as a potential ally to the weakened Pokanokets and their sachem Massasoit against neighboring enemies: the Massachusetts and the Narragansetts. Philbrick essentially recounts this reigning interpretation with sensitivity to landscape description, narrative suspense, and understanding of...
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