Backed by privateering aristocrats, London merchants, and xenophobic politicians, they were sectarian religious radicals who lived double and treble lives: entrepreneurs as well as evangelicals, rebels as well as Christian idealists. Far from the storybook figures of American mythology, the Pilgrims were complex men and women, and Making Haste from Babylon tells their story in unrivaled depth.
Within a decade of landing, and despite crisis and catastrophe, the Pilgrims built a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on trade in beaver fur, corn, and cattle, and in doing so they laid the foundations for Massachusetts, New England, and a new nation. Using a wealth of previously untapped or neglected evidence--from archives in England, Ireland, and the United States--British author Nick Bunker gives a vivid, strikingly original account of the Mayflower project. From the rural kingdom of James I to industrial Holland and the beaver ponds of Maine, he weaves a rich narrative combining religion, politics, money, science, and the sea.
A meticulously researched, revelatory book that restores the potency of the Mayflower story by rediscovering the full international context of its time.
Here is a study of the character, writings, and ideals of Captain John Smith, popularly recognized as the greatest English explorer and colonizer of his time - perhaps of all time. Reading closely the facts of Smith's life and, especially, Smith's own words, J. A. Leo Lemay offers the fullest appreciation to date of Smith's contributions to American colonization and culture. The result is a new interpretation and appreciation of the man who, more than any other of his time, saw the potential of America for creating a new society unencumbered by the feudal vestiges of the Old World.
FINALIST FOR THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BOOK PRIZE
A new, brash, and unexpected view of the president we thought we knew, from the bestselling author of Astoria
Two decades before he led America to independence, George Washington was a flailing young soldier serving the British Empire in the vast wilderness of the Ohio Valley. Na ve and self-absorbed, the twenty-two-year-old officer accidentally ignited the French and Indian War--a conflict that opened colonists to the possibility of an American Revolution.
With powerful narrative drive and vivid writing, Young Washington recounts the wilderness trials, controversial battles, and emotional entanglements that transformed Washington from a temperamental striver into a mature leader. Enduring terrifying summer storms and subzero winters imparted resilience and self-reliance, helping prepare him for what he would one day face at Valley Forge. Leading the Virginia troops into battle taught him to set aside his own relentless ambitions and stand in solidarity with those who looked to him for leadership. Negotiating military strategy with British and colonial allies honed his diplomatic skills. And thwarted in his obsessive, youthful love for one woman, he grew to cultivate deeper, enduring relationships.
By weaving together Washington's harrowing wilderness adventures and a broader historical context, Young Washington offers new insights into the dramatic years that shaped the man who shaped a nation.
The battle on the Plains of Abraham lasted twenty minutes, and at its finish the course of a continent was changed forever: New military tactics were used for the first time against standard European formations; Generals Wolfe and Montcalm each died of gunshot wounds; France surrendered Quebec to the British, setting the course for the future of Canada; and British control of North America east of the Mississippi was assured. Also American participation in ousting the French spurred the confidence of the people of New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, who began to agitate for independence from Great Britain.In Northern Armageddon, Peter MacLeod, uses original research--diaries, journals, letters, and firsthand accounts--and all of his extensive knowledge and grasp of warfare and colonial North American history, to tell this epic story on a human scale. A huge, ambitious re-creation, MacLeod gives us the large-scale ramifications of this clash of armies, not only on the shape of North America, but on the history of Europe itself.
Americans often think of the Civil War as the conflict that consolidated the United States, including its military values and practices. But there was another, earlier, and more protracted struggle between "North" and "South," beginning in the 1600s and lasting for more than two centuries, that shaped American geopolitics and military culture. Here, Eliot A. Cohen explains how the American way of war emerged from a lengthy struggle with an unlikely enemy: Canada.In Conquered into Liberty, Cohen describes how five peoples--the British, French, Americans, Canadians, and Indians--fought over the key to the North American continent: the corridor running from Albany to Montreal dominated by the Champlain valley and known to Native Americans as the "Great Warpath." He reveals how conflict along these two hundred miles of lake, river, and woodland shaped the country's military values, practices, and institutions. Through a vivid narration of a series of fights-- woodland skirmishes and massacres, bloody frontal assaults and fleet actions, rear-guard battles and shadowy covert actions--Cohen explores how a distinctively American approach to war developed along the Great Warpath. He weaves together tactics and strategy, battle narratives, and statecraft, introducing readers to such fascinating but little-known figures as Justus Sherwood, loyalist spy; Jeduthan Baldwin, self-taught engineer; and La Corne St. Luc, ruthless partisan leader. And he reintroduces characters we thought we knew--an admirable Benedict Arnold, a traitorous Ethan Allen, and a devious George Washington. A gripping read grounded in serious scholarship, Conquered into Liberty will enchant and inform readers for decades to come.
"They could write like angels and scheme like demons." So begins Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Larson's masterful account of the wild ride that was the 1800 presidential election -- an election so convulsive and so momentous to the future of American democracy that Thomas Jefferson would later dub it "America's second revolution."
This was America's first true presidential campaign, giving birth to our two-party system and indelibly etching the lines of partisanship that have so profoundly shaped American politics ever since. The contest featured two of our most beloved Founding Fathers, once warm friends, facing off as the heads of their two still-forming parties -- the hot-tempered but sharp-minded John Adams, and the eloquent yet enigmatic Thomas Jefferson -- flanked by the brilliant tacticians Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, who later settled their own differences in a duel.
The country was descending into turmoil, reeling from the terrors of the French Revolution, and on the brink of war with France. Blistering accusations flew as our young nation was torn apart along party lines: Adams and his elitist Federalists would squelch liberty and impose a British-style monarchy; Jefferson and his radically democratizing Republicans would throw the country into chaos and debase the role of religion in American life. The stakes could not have been higher.
As the competition heated up, other founders joined the fray -- James Madison, John Jay, James Monroe, Gouverneur Morris, George Clinton, John Marshall, Horatio Gates, and even George Washington -- some of them emerging from retirement to respond to the political crisis gripping the nation and threatening its future.
Drawing on unprecedented, meticulous research of the day-to-day unfolding drama, from diaries and letters of the principal players as well as accounts in the fast-evolving partisan press, Larson vividly re-creates the mounting tension as one state after another voted and the press had the lead passing back and forth. The outcome remained shrouded in doubt long after the voting ended, and as Inauguration Day approached, Congress met in closed session to resolve the crisis. In its first great electoral challenge, our fragile experiment in constitutional democracy hung in the balance."A Magnificent Catastrophe" is history writing at its evocative best: the riveting story of the last great contest of the founding period.
A fresh and revealing history of one of the most seminal events in American history as seen through fourteen diverse and dynamic figures.Leading into the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower, Martyn Whittock examines the lives of the "saints" (members of the Separatist puritan congregations) and "strangers" (economic migrants) on the original ship who collectively became known to history as "the Pilgrims." The story of the Pilgrims has taken on a life of its own as one of our founding national myths--their escape from religious persecution, the dangerous transatlantic journey, that brutal first winter. Throughout the narrative, we meet characters already familiar to us through Thanksgiving folklore--Captain Jones, Myles Standish, and Tisquantum (Squanto)--as well as new ones. There is Mary Chilton, the first woman to set foot on shore, and asylum seeker William Bradford. We meet fur trapper John Howland and little Mary More, who was brought as an indentured servant. Then there is Stephen Hopkins, who had already survived one shipwreck and was the only Mayflower passenger with any prior American experience. Decidedly un-puritanical, he kept a tavern and was frequently chastised for allowing drinking on Sundays. Epic and intimate, Mayflower Lives is a rich and rewarding book that promises to enthrall readers of early American history.
Three generations of English merchant adventurers-not the Pilgrims, as we have so long believed-were the earliest founders of America. Profit-not piety-was their primary motive.Some seventy years before the Mayflower sailed, a small group of English merchants formed "The Mysterie, Company, and Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and Places Unknown," the world's first joint-stock company. Back then, in the mid-sixteenth century, England was a small and relatively insignificant kingdom on the periphery of Europe, and it had begun to face a daunting array of social, commercial, and political problems. Struggling with a single export-woolen cloth-the merchants were forced to seek new markets and trading partners, especially as political discord followed the straitened circumstances in which so many English people found themselves. At first they headed east, and dreamed of Cathay-China, with its silks and exotic luxuries. Eventually, they turned west, and so began a new chapter in world history. The work of reaching the New World required the very latest in navigational science as well as an extraordinary appetite for risk. As this absorbing account shows, innovation and risk-taking were at the heart of the settlement of America, as was the profit motive. Trade and business drove English interest in America, and determined what happened once their ships reached the New World. The result of extensive archival work and a bold interpretation of the historical record, New World, Inc. draws a portrait of life in London, on the Atlantic, and across the New World that offers a fresh analysis of the founding of American history. In the tradition of the best works of history that make us reconsider the past and better understand the present, Butman and Targett examine the enterprising spirit that inspired European settlement of America and established a national culture of entrepreneurship and innovation that continues to this day.