07 November 2006

Mayflower

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick was pretty good. I thought the title was off (although the subtitle wasn't) because it really doesn't have much to do with the Mayflower. Instead, it's a history of Native American-English settler relations from the English's first permanent arrival in New England in 1620 to King Philip's War in the mid-1670s.

I thought the book was best at the beginning and then got more boring, but that's largely because I'm not very interested in military history. There were too many details in the war chapter of who fought whom when and where. I was pleased to see a fair piece written about Mary Rowlandson (her autobiography has been on my to-read list for too long) in the war chapter so I could read about her while I was skimming through the battles and troop movements.

This is still an important book though despite my misgivings. There is little written about the dealings between these two groups of people, and it's important to see what worked and what didn't. Philbrick applies these lessons to today, and I agree with many of his conclusions.

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