A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Written by:

  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101218839
  • 480 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a fifty-five-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.

The Mayflower’s religious refugees arrived in Plymouth Harbor during a period of crisis for Native Americans as disease spread by European fishermen devastated their populations. Initially the two groups—the Wampanoags, under the charismatic and calculating chief Massasoit, and the Pilgrims, whose pugnacious military officer Miles Standish was barely five feet tall—maintained a fragile working relationship. But within decades, New England would erupt into King Philip’s War, a savagely bloody conflict that nearly wiped out English colonists and natives alike and forever altered the face of the fledgling colonies and the country that would grow from them.

With towering figures like William Bradford and the distinctly American hero Benjamin Church at the center of his narrative, Philbrick has fashioned a fresh and compelling portrait of the dawn of American history—a history dominated right from the start by issues of race, violence, and religion.

From the Hardcover edition.


Written by: Nathaniel Philbrick


ALA Notable Book – winner
Booklist Editor’s Choice – winner
Boston Globe Best 12 Books – winner
Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2006 – winner
Focus on New England Award – winner
Pulitzer Prize (History) – winner
San Francisco Chronicle Best Books – winner


Startling [and] fascinating. (The New York Times)