Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea
winner of the National Book Award the startling story of the Plymouth Colony.
From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a fifty-five-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.
The Mayflower's religious refugees arrived in Plymouth Harbor during a period of crisis for Native Americans as disease spread by European fishermen devastated their populations. Initially the two groups the Wampanoags, under the charismatic and calculating chief Massasoit, and the Pilgrims, whose pugnacious military officer Miles Standish was barely five feet tall maintained a fragile working relationship. But within decades, New England would erupt into King Philip's War, a savagely bloody conflict that nearly wiped out English colonists and natives alike and forever altered the face of the fledgling colonies and the country that would grow from them.
With towering figures like William Bradford and the distinctly American hero Benjamin Church at the center of his narrative, Philbrick has fashioned a fresh and compelling portrait of the dawn of American history a history dominated right from the start by issues of race, violence, and religion.
"A judicious, fascinating work of revisionist history. Mayflower is a surprise-filled account of what are supposed to be some of the best-known events in this country's past but are instead an occasion for collective amnesia." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Readers who pick it up to learn more about the Mayflower and its passengers will find themselves pulled into a much bigger and ultimately more meaningful story." Boston Globe
"Philbrick's tightly focused account of this critical time in the beginning of the United States confirms that its origins are tinged with blood, darkness, ignorance and betrayal with shafts of light here and there." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Philbrick triumphs in Mayflower because he combines it with empathy to challenge...myths about America's beginnings." Los Angeles Times
"[A] part of American history almost unknown...one can go through 12 years of public school...without ever hearing of Massasoit, the Pokasset tribe or King Philip's War." Seattle Times
"Philbrick delivers a masterly told story that will appeal to lay readers and history buffs alike." Library Journal
"In Philbrick's graceful retelling of a story many think they already know, the virtues and vices of each culture are given their due....A remarkably sensitive account." Kirkus Reviews
"A sterling synthesis of sources, Philbrick's epic seems poised to become a critical and commercial hit." Booklist
Nathaniel Philbrick became an internationally renowned author with his National Book Award? winning In the Heart of the Sea
, hailed as ?spellbinding? by Time
magazine. In Mayflower
, Philbrick casts his spell once again, giving us a fresh and extraordinarily vivid account of our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower
and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. From the Mayflower
?s arduous Atlantic crossing to the eruption of King Philip?s War between colonists and natives decades later, Philbrick reveals in this electrifying history of the Pilgrims a fifty-five-year epic, at once tragic and heroic, that still resonates with us today.
About the Author
Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown Universityand#8217;s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at Sailing World
magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind
, and Yaahting: A Parody
In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. In 1994, he published his first book about the islandand#8217;s history, Away Off Shore, followed by a study of the Nantucketand#8217;s native legacy, Abramand#8217;s Eyes. He was the founding director of Nantucketand#8217;s Egan Maritime Institute and is still a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.and#160;
In 2000, Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the forthcoming Warner Bros. motion picture and#147;Heart of the Sea,and#8221; directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland, which is scheduled for release in March, 2015. The book also inspired a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS American Experience film and#147;Into the Deepand#8221; by Ric Burns.
His next book was Sea of Glory, published in 2003, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. The New York Times Bestseller Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one the ten Best Books of 2006 by the New York Times Book Review. Mayflower is currently in development as a limited series on FX.
In 2010, he published the New York Times bestseller The Last Stand, which was named a New York Times Notable book, a 2010 Montana Book Award Honor Book, and a 2011 ALA Notable Book. Philbrick was an on-camera consultant to the two-hour PBS American Experience film and#147;Custerand#8217;s Last Standand#8221; by Stephen Ives. The book is currently being adapted for a ten-hour, multi-part television series. The audio book for Philbrickand#8217;s Why Read Moby-Dick? (2011) made the ALA's Listen List in 2012 and was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award.
Philbrickand#8217;s latest New York Times bestseller, Bunker Hill: and#160;A City, a Siege, a Revolution, was published in 2013 and was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award. Bunker Hill won the 2014 book award from the Society of Colonial Wars, and has been optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film adaptation with Ben Affleck attached to direct.
Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, and the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society. He was named the 2011 Cushing Orator by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and has an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he delivered the commencement address in 2009.
Philbrickand#8217;s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBSand#8217;s American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife still live on Nantucket.