Explores the complexities of Pilgrim character from their radical sectarian beliefs to their entrepreneurial capabilities, drawing on previously untapped sources to offer insight into how they established a thriving New Plymouth settlement in spite of formidable circumstances.
At the end of 1618, a blazing green star soared across the night sky over the northern hemisphere. From the Philippines to the Arctic, the comet became a sensation and a symbol, a warning of doom or a promise of salvation. Two years later, as the Pilgrims prepared to sail across the Atlantic on board the Mayflower, the atmosphere remained charged with fear and expectation. Men and women readied themselves for war, pestilence, or divine retribution. Against this background, and amid deep economic depression, the Pilgrims conceived their enterprise of exile. Within a decade, despite crisis and catastrophe, they built a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on beaver fur, corn, and cattle. In doing so, they laid the foundations for Massachusetts, New England, and a new nation. Using a wealth of new evidence from landscape, archaeology, and hundreds of overlooked or neglected documents, Nick Bunker gives a vivid and strikingly original account of the Mayflower project and the first decade of the Plymouth Colony. From mercantile London and the rural England of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I to the mountains and rivers of Maine, he weaves a rich narrative that combines religion, politics, money, science, and the sea. The Pilgrims were entrepreneurs as well as evangelicals, political radicals as well as Christian idealists. Making Haste from Babylon tells their story in unrivaled depth, from their roots in religious conflict and village strife at home to their final creation of a permanent foothold in America. From the Hardcover edition.
An Empire on the Edge
Author: Nick Bunker
Written from a strikingly fresh perspective, this new account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution shows how a lethal blend of politics, personalities, and economics led to a war that few people welcomed but nobody could prevent. In this powerful but fair-minded narrative, British author Nick Bunker tells the story of the last three years of mutual embitterment that preceded the outbreak of America’s war for independence in 1775. It was a tragedy of errors, in which both sides shared responsibility for a conflict that cost the lives of at least twenty thousand Britons and a still larger number of Americans. The British and the colonists failed to see how swiftly they were drifting toward violence until the process had gone beyond the point of no return. At the heart of the book lies the Boston Tea Party, an event that arose from fundamental flaws in the way the British managed their affairs. By the early 1770s, Great Britain had become a nation addicted to financial speculation, led by a political elite beset by internal rivalry and increasingly baffled by a changing world. When the East India Company came close to collapse, it patched together a rescue plan whose disastrous side effect was the destruction of the tea. With lawyers in London calling the Tea Party treason, and with hawks in Parliament crying out for revenge, the British opted for punitive reprisals without foreseeing the resistance they would arouse. For their part, Americans underestimated Britain’s determination not to give way. By the late summer of 1774, when the rebels in New England began to arm themselves, the descent into war had become irreversible. Drawing on careful study of primary sources from Britain and the United States, An Empire on the Edge sheds new light on the Tea Party’s origins and on the roles of such familiar characters as Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Thomas Hutchinson. The book shows how the king’s chief minister, Lord North, found himself driven down the road to bloodshed. At his side was Lord Dartmouth, the colonial secretary, an evangelical Christian renowned for his benevolence. In a story filled with painful ironies, perhaps the saddest was this: that Dartmouth, a man who loved peace, had to write the dispatch that sent the British army out to fight.
Author: David Lindsay
David Lindsay, researching old records to learn details of the life of his ancestor, Richard More, soon found himself in the position of the Sorcerer's Apprentice-wherever he looked for one item, ten more appeared. What he found illuminated not only More's own life but painted a clear and satisfying picture of the way the First Comers, Saints and Strangers alike, set off for the new land, suffered the voyage on the Mayflower, and put down their roots to thrive on our continent's northeastern shore. From the story, Richard emerges as a man of questionable morals, much enterprise, and a good deal of old-fashioned pluck, a combination that could get him into trouble-and often did. He lived to father several children, to see, near the end of his life, a friend executed as a witch in Salem, and to be read out of the church for unseemly behavior. Mayflower Bastard lets readers see history in a new light by turning an important episode into a personal experience.
The Mayflower Papers
Author: William Bradford, Mary White Rowlandson, Benjamin Church
A compilation of original primary source material features key personal reminiscences and eyewitness accounts that describe the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century New England, with such selections as William Bradford's "Of Plymouth Plantation," Benjamin Church's "Entertaining Passages Relating to Philip's War," and others. Original.
A New York Times Notable Book and aSan Jose Mercury News Top 20 Nonfiction Book of 2003In 1606, approximately 105 British colonists sailed to America, seeking gold and a trade route to the Pacific. Instead, they found disease, hunger, and hostile natives. Ill prepared for such hardship, the men responded with incompetence and infighting; only the leadership of Captain John Smith averted doom for the first permanent English settlement in the New World.The Jamestown colony is one of the great survival stories of American history, and this book brings it fully to life for the first time. Drawing on extensive original documents, David A. Price paints intimate portraits of the major figures from the formidable monarch Chief Powhatan, to the resourceful but unpopular leader John Smith, to the spirited Pocahontas, who twice saved Smith’s life. He also gives a rare balanced view of relations between the settlers and the natives and debunks popular myths about the colony. This is a superb work of history, reminding us of the horrors and heroism that marked the dawning of our nation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Controversies in politics and religion, customs of family life and society, obligations of labor and chances to play, questions of free will, democracy, the separation of church and state, religious toleration, treatment of Indians---these form the matter of this book." -- Publisher's description.
When the Mayflower embarked on her famous voyage to America in 1620, she was carrying 102 passengers. To most, they are simply known as the Pilgrims. Perhaps the name of Governor William Bradford, Elder William Brewster, or Captain Myles Standish are vaguely familiar; but the vast majority of the Mayflower passengers have remained anonymous and nameless. In The Mayflower and Her Passengers, I have attempted to resurrect the unique individuality of each passenger by providing short biographies for each person or family group. Also included is a groundbreaking new biography of the Mayflower ship itself.
John Fea offers a thoroughly researched, evenhanded primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many evangelicals assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the title's question from a historical perspective, helping readers see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. This updated edition reports on the many issues that have arisen in recent years concerning religion's place in American society—including the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, contraception and the Affordable Care Act, and state-level restrictions on abortion—and demonstrates how they lead us to the question of whether the United States was or is a Christian nation. Fea relates the history of these and other developments, pointing to the underlying questions of national religious identity inherent in each. "We live in a sound-bite culture that makes it difficult to have any sustained dialogue on these historical issues," Fea writes in his preface. "It is easy for those who argue that America is a Christian nation (and those who do not) to appear on radio or television programs, quote from one of the founders or one of the nation's founding documents, and sway people to their positions. These kinds of arguments, which can often be contentious, do nothing to help us unravel a very complicated historical puzzle about the relationship between Christianity and America's founding."
The First Thanksgiving
Author: Robert Tracy McKenzie
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Veteran historian Robert Tracy McKenzie sets aside centuries of legend and political stylization to present the mixed blessing that was the first Thanksgiving. Like good narrative history, McKenzie's critical account of our Pilgrim ancestors confronts us with our own unresolved issues of national and spiritual identity.
Author: Richard Middleton, Anne Lombard
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Colonial America: A History to 1763, 4th Edition provides updated and revised coverage of the background, founding, and development of the thirteen English North American colonies. Fully revised and expanded fourth edition, with updated bibliography Includes new coverage of the simultaneous development of French, Spanish, and Dutch colonies in North America, and extensively re-written and updated chapters on families and women Features enhanced coverage of the English colony of Barbados and trans-Atlantic influences on colonial development Provides a greater focus on the perspectives of Native Americans and their influences in shaping the development of the colonies
Between Two Worlds
Author: Malcolm Gaskill
Publisher: Basic Books
In the 1600s, over 350,000 intrepid English men, women, and children migrated to America, leaving behind their homeland for an uncertain future. Whether they settled in Jamestown, Salem, or Barbados, these migrants—entrepreneurs, soldiers, and pilgrims alike—faced one incontrovertible truth: England was a very, very long way away. In Between Two Worlds, celebrated historian Malcolm Gaskill tells the sweeping story of the English experience in America during the first century of colonization. Following a large and varied cast of visionaries and heretics, merchants and warriors, and slaves and rebels, Gaskill brilliantly illuminates the often traumatic challenges the settlers faced. The first waves sought to recreate the English way of life, even to recover a society that was vanishing at home. But they were thwarted at every turn by the perils of a strange continent, unaided by monarchs who first ignored then exploited them. As these colonists strove to leave their mark on the New World, they were forced—by hardship and hunger, by illness and infighting, and by bloody and desperate battles with Indians—to innovate and adapt or perish. As later generations acclimated to the wilderness, they recognized that they had evolved into something distinct: no longer just the English in America, they were perhaps not even English at all. These men and women were among the first white Americans, and certainly the most prolific. And as Gaskill shows, in learning to live in an unforgiving world, they had begun a long and fateful journey toward rebellion and, finally, independence
Angel in the Forest
Author: Marguerite Young
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
This is the first paperback edition of Marguerite Young's fascinating chronicle of two attempts to establish utopian communities in nineteenth-century America. Angel in the Forest recounts the strange tale of New Harmony, Indiana. The original community was founded in 1814 by the German mystic Father George Rapp, who, with a group of English immigrants, implemented his own theories for a perfect community, this time based on rationalism. Both experiments failed, but Young finds in both a distinctively American yearning for utopia, which continues to characterize the American spirit to this day: a tradition of faith and folly can be traced from Owen's New Moral World to George Bush's New World Order. Written with the same elegance, wit, and lyric beauty that distinguishes her fiction, Angel in the Forest was widely praised upon its first publication in 1945. This edition includes Mark Van Doren's introduction to Scribner's 1966 reprint.
As a soldier and general, statesman and empire-builder, Genghis Khan is an almost legendary figure. His remarkable achievements and his ruthless methods have given rise to a sinister reputation. As Chris Peers shows, in this concise and authoritative study, he possessed exceptional gifts as a leader and manager of men - he ranks among the greatest military commanders - but he can only be properly understood in terms of the Mongol society and traditions he was born into. So the military and cultural background of the Mongols, and the nature of steppe societies and their armies, are major themes of his book. He looks in detail at the military skills, tactics and ethos of the Mongol soldiers, and at the advantages and disadvantages they had in combat with the soldiers of more settled societies. His book offers a fascinating fresh perspective on Genghis Khan the man and on the armies he led.