Mayflower: Plymouth Colony and Native Americans

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American history is so much more interesting now than it was when I was growing up! I have just finished reading Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick. First of all, I was surprised to see a book on this summers New York Times Best Seller List about a subject so long ago. I would have thought the story about the Pilgrims had been told enough times no one would bother writing another book. Philbrick has written an enlightening account of the 17th century events that shaped our country. It was a story that is well written and enjoyable to read. I was immediately hooked in the book. In the first paragraph, excluding the preface, Philbrick writes "There were 102 of them – 104 if you counted the two dogs: a spaniel and a giant, slobbery mastiff." I love dogs! And two of my "granddogs" are "giant, slobbery mastiffs". I can understand writing a book of fiction and basing it on historical facts, but this is supposed to be non-fiction. How in the world does this man know that two dogs were on the Mayflower? Throughout the book I continued to ask myself the same question, "How does this man know this stuff, did he just make it up?" What I didn't realize, until I was quite a ways through the book, there are pages and pages of notes in the back of the book. These notes take you chapter by chapter and tell you where Philbrick found the information he writes about in that particular chapter. He lists previous books, manuscripts, journals and personal writings that have survived all of these years. Besides the notes, his bibliography is twenty-three pages long! The man did his research, and I am glad he did. Nathaniel Philbrick tells the story of the Pilgrims, beginning with them breaking away from the Church of England, emigrating to Holland, and eventually to America on the Mayflower. He talks about the relationship they had with the "Strangers" or nonbelievers that accompanied them on their adventure. He tells stories about disease, death,...
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