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MAYFLOWER By Nathaniel Philbrick

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Staff Review by Carol Ann Strahl

A totally new exploratory look at the Pilgrims and Puritans–who they were and what their behavior patterns were like.  The reader will never celebrate Thanksgiving again with the same mindset after reading this adventure!  It is a story of intrigue, greed and power abuse. Perhaps the American sense of “Manifest Destiny” had its birth upon the Mayflower’s landing. Why?  Because it is a quintessentially American story —  a struggle for land and control of land.   

The Pilgrims and Puritans were two distinct groups and their aims delineated.  Their treatment of the Natives was abominable and all of this is chronicled by a masterful storyteller.  The author brings to life events of heroism but also human foibles.

Was the Mayflower a commercial venture or a flight from religious persecution? What were Miles Standish, William Bradford and Squanto really like?  Any student of history will be entranced by the scholarship contained in this tome.  This is balanced by the quality of the writing exhibited in this epic saga.  There is an adage that says history is written by the winners. For centuries, we were not privy to the real story of the subjugation of the Native Americans. On these pages the truth is perhaps fully revealed.

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