Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War - Nathaniel Philbrick MUST READ!! Even if you're not a history buff, you will benefit from finally hearing the true story of the roots of this country. Philbrick bridges the gap between the prevailing ideals of this time, the first being the sweet story- of the pilgrims and natives sitting down for turkey and indian corn and pie, trading goods and stories alike, the second being the idea that those brutal English arrived and forced the natives off their land- Bad English, Bad! Of course, it's much more complicated than that and Philbrick does an amazing job of telling the story without being biased toward one group or the other. What was amazing to discover was that the line wasn't even drawn so distinctly between the two groups.
Ultimately, I believe this is a story about the human condition. How we are all fundamentally the same regardless of background or race.
What most resonated with me while reading this, is how much these people were able to live through without just completely falling apart. I mean, in today's society we get upset if our cable goes out or we need therapy because we can't make our relationships work, or someone shoots someone on the highway for cutting them off. The hardship that both the pilgrims and the natives had to handle is not even comparable! Disease, starvation, and to lose a child is the most gut-wrenching ordeal imaginable and so many had to go through this more than once.
Not to scare anyone off though, this book is not all doom and gloom. There are so many moments of surprise and even funny nuggets of history. And if you live or have ever lived in the New England area you will have a special connection to this historical era.
This book is especially relevant in an election year, when we need to rememember the people who began this country. And regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, the important thing to remember is that these people were independent thinkers! They didn't have the mind-numbing media telling them what to think or politicians giving them false promises inside fancy speeches. Funny how the key word today is "Change" and that's just what the Pilgrims were searching for, the difference is that they were faithful and knew exactly how they wanted to live, were willing to risk everything for it, and did. Today we hear the word "Change" and applaud with no clue what's behind it, what the implications in that word are.... because, I'm sure as many of the pilgrims would attest, not all change is good.