Every American knows the story of the Mayflower. But Nathaniel Philbrick’s nonfiction book, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, deeply delves into the story of the Mayflower, thoroughly teaching us about the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth. 

When one quickly recounts the story of the Mayflower voyage or the first Thanksgiving, it is easy to paint the historical figures using very broad strokes.  But through Philbrick’s detailed book, readers get a chance to explore so many different aspects of the Pilgrims’ lives: their faults, and follies, and also their virtues as they overcame terrific obstacles. The Pilgrims’ new settlement in Plymouth brought hardship upon hardship, but as we can see from the early pages of this book, the Pilgrims were no stranger to hardship, and they left their old world behind them for a reason. 

When we look at the Mayflower Compact, we see the names of the men who signed it. But the settlement of Plymouth consisted of many more people than those on the Compact. Women, children, and servants were also part of Plymouth, and Philbrick’s book shows us a more complete picture of what early America looked politically and culturally. 

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