Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Mayflower

Image from "The Mayflower" at www.nathanielphilbrick.com

I just finished The Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (who also wrote the great book In the Heart of the Sea). While most of the story of the Pilgrims was familiar to me (from the landing up through the first Thanksgiving), the subsequent generations and King Phillips War was not. The author points out that often American mythology jumps across the 150 years from the Pilgrims landing to the War for Independence. Many of the themes seen throughout subsequent American history can be found in the 17th century New England history. Obviously, the majority of the book deals with the settlers relationship with the Indians and Indian tribes. The greed, racism, deceit, hatred, hypocrisy, and violence are heartbreaking. Paradoxically, this history is also about men of great faith and morality. As the book subtly pointed out, the challenge of loving our neighbor was not just an issue for the Pilgrims and Indians, it is an issue ever before us.

2 comments:

School for Us said...

Back in December, I read a great book by Philbrick - it's about the whaling boat, The Essex. And, tonight I saw it and it said "by the author of Mayflower" and I was thinking I needed to read it. Thanks for the review! I'll see if my library has it.

Oh, the book is called "In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex"

ben said...

I really liked the story of the Essex. Quite an amazing story.