This time of the year, with Thanksgiving on the way, brings to mind stories of the New World’s earliest settlers. Books about the historic voyage of the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony are nothing new but bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick’s book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War might just be the best. It is certainly one of the most colorful and accessible volumes recounting these events. The thing that causes Philbrick’s book to stand out so much is the fact that it is such a deviation from the textbook version of the story and told in a much more interesting way.
Philbrick sheds new light on prominent historic figures such as Miles Standish, William Bradford and Benjamin Church. The book dispels the romantic myths surrounding Pilgrims, particularly the notion that the colonists and Indians lived together in harmony.
This was anything but a peaceful chapter in history. Readers will learn details of the devastating English-Indian War which not only caused enormous bloodshed but wreaked havoc on the environment.
The story remains in essence, an inspiring tale of survival. Well-researched, eye-opening and exciting, this book paints a very human and realistic portrait of colonial life. Remembering that what would become a great and powerful civilization was rooted in the courage, struggles and triumphs of these simple people makes the book that much more compelling.