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Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America

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Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America Cover

ISBN13: 9780060090562
ISBN10: 0060090561
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"To gain fresh insights, Woolley created his own searchable database drawn from original texts and 3,500 books, some 2 million words in all. Access to that level of detail becomes both the book's strength and weakness. Those willing to read in depth will uncover a rich picture of America's first enduring settlement." Gregory M. Lamb, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Four centuries ago, and fourteen years before the Mayflower, a group of men — led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy — left London aboard a fleet of three ships to start a new life in America. They arrived in Virginia in the spring of 1607 and set about trying to create a settlement on a tiny island in the James River. Despite their shortcomings, and against the odds, they built Jamestown, a ramshackle outpost that laid the foundations of the British Empire and the United States of America.

Drawing on new discoveries, neglected sources and manuscript collections scattered across the world, Savage Kingdom challenges the textbook image of Jamestown as a mere money-making venture. It reveals a reckless, daring enterprise led by outcasts of the Old World who found themselves interlopers in a new one. It charts their journey into a beautiful landscape and a sophisticated culture that they found both ravishing and alien, which they yearned to possess but threatened to destroy. They called their new home a "savage kingdom," but it was the savagery they had experienced in Europe that had driven them across the ocean and which they hoped to escape by building in America "one of the most glorious nations under the sun."

An intimate story in an epic setting, Woolley shows how the land of Pocahontas came to be drawn into a new global order, reaching from London to the Orinoco Delta, from the warring kingdoms of Angola to the slave markets of Mexico, from the gates of the Ottoman Empire to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Review:

"This highly readable account of the founding of Jamestown moves from the English throne to the daily struggles of the colony's first settlers and the experience of Virginia's Indians as their relations with colonists became increasingly strained. Here are the famous tales from early Virginia, like Pocahontas's marriage to John Rolfe. But well-known explorers sit cheek by jowl with fascinating, lesser-known people, such as the colonists' wives, who consulted an astrologer to reassure themselves about their husbands' fate on the open seas. Woolley emphasizes both the financial and religious aims of colonization: English backers expected to get rich on the bounty the settlers would uncover and produce (though the first ships of wood and iron ore sent back disappointed the London Company). But Englishmen also saw Virginia as a 'religious mission,' an opportunity to spread Protestantism abroad. Woolley persuasively argues that the settlers' aggressive response to a 1623 Indian attack became the 'defining moment' in the history of English settlement of Virginia — it was through this event, more than any other, that the colonists articulated their connection to their new land and 'crafted and honed their American identity.' Woolley blends nuanced analysis with fast-paced narrative. 16 pages of color illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"All memory is selective, for nations as for individuals. The year 1620 is etched into Plymouth Rock and the minds of most Americans as the birth date of this country. We hallow austere Pilgrims with a day of national gluttony. The Mayflower is iconic — the name of a moving company, a luxury Washington hotel and a recent best-seller.

But can you name the three ships that landed English... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] swashbuckling saga of political maneuvering, storms at sea, hostile indigenes, violence and starvation. A broadcaster and writer who lives in London, he is fond of the cinematic image, and his book is sprightly and vivid." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[Woolley] illuminates the Virginia colony as part of a larger international game, the stakes of which simultaneously explain and dwarf the sufferings of a few adventurers in a southern swamp. A well-told story of discovery, conquest, business and politics." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A]n engaging, well-researched take....Woolley's prose bounces along, equally cheerful in the face of a comprehensive flaying and the founding of what became Washington, D.C., leaving you with warm, fuzzy feelings... (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"[Woolley presents] the story in a highly readable and entertaining human narrative that charms as much as it informs....This is, simply, one of the best written, most accurate, and most accessible histories of the period to emerge in many years." Dallas Morning News

Synopsis:

Published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the first American colony, Savage Kingdom presents the bold, even reckless, political adventure driven by a sense of imperial destiny and dogged by official hostility.

About the Author

Benjamin Woolley, a writer and broadcaster, covers both the arts and the sciences. His previous books include Virtual Worlds, an exploration of virtual reality, and The Bride of Science, a biography of Byron's brilliant daughter. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

sharrona, October 22, 2012 (view all comments by sharrona)
Information from a large variety of source documents, compiled into an interesting narrative (without much padding). Excellent narration by David Drummond. This audiobook is about 14 hours, unabridged, and I have to admit I multi-tasked for a few minutes here and there. I'm not a history buff, but did study Jamestown in elementary school in Virginia, and have visited it numerous times. I thought I knew a lot about the settlement, but this book increased my knowledge, understanding, and perspective.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060090562
Publisher:
HarperCol
Subject:
United States - General
Author:
Woolley, Benjamin
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
United States - State & Local - South
Subject:
Virginia History.
Subject:
Pocahontas
Subject:
US History-Colonial America
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
April 10, 2007
Binding:
Book
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.2889 in 27.2 oz

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » World History » General

Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 496 pages HarperCollins Academic - English 9780060090562 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This highly readable account of the founding of Jamestown moves from the English throne to the daily struggles of the colony's first settlers and the experience of Virginia's Indians as their relations with colonists became increasingly strained. Here are the famous tales from early Virginia, like Pocahontas's marriage to John Rolfe. But well-known explorers sit cheek by jowl with fascinating, lesser-known people, such as the colonists' wives, who consulted an astrologer to reassure themselves about their husbands' fate on the open seas. Woolley emphasizes both the financial and religious aims of colonization: English backers expected to get rich on the bounty the settlers would uncover and produce (though the first ships of wood and iron ore sent back disappointed the London Company). But Englishmen also saw Virginia as a 'religious mission,' an opportunity to spread Protestantism abroad. Woolley persuasively argues that the settlers' aggressive response to a 1623 Indian attack became the 'defining moment' in the history of English settlement of Virginia — it was through this event, more than any other, that the colonists articulated their connection to their new land and 'crafted and honed their American identity.' Woolley blends nuanced analysis with fast-paced narrative. 16 pages of color illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "To gain fresh insights, Woolley created his own searchable database drawn from original texts and 3,500 books, some 2 million words in all. Access to that level of detail becomes both the book's strength and weakness. Those willing to read in depth will uncover a rich picture of America's first enduring settlement." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "[A] swashbuckling saga of political maneuvering, storms at sea, hostile indigenes, violence and starvation. A broadcaster and writer who lives in London, he is fond of the cinematic image, and his book is sprightly and vivid."
"Review" by , "[Woolley] illuminates the Virginia colony as part of a larger international game, the stakes of which simultaneously explain and dwarf the sufferings of a few adventurers in a southern swamp. A well-told story of discovery, conquest, business and politics."
"Review" by , "[A]n engaging, well-researched take....Woolley's prose bounces along, equally cheerful in the face of a comprehensive flaying and the founding of what became Washington, D.C., leaving you with warm, fuzzy feelings... (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "[Woolley presents] the story in a highly readable and entertaining human narrative that charms as much as it informs....This is, simply, one of the best written, most accurate, and most accessible histories of the period to emerge in many years."
"Synopsis" by , Published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the first American colony, Savage Kingdom presents the bold, even reckless, political adventure driven by a sense of imperial destiny and dogged by official hostility.
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