Author Nathaniel Philbrick makes it easy and joyful to love history. I first became a fan when I read Philbrick’s Mayflower.
In 358 concise pages Philbrick manages to capture the essence of the complete story of the Pilgrims voyage, The Plymouth Colony, Native Americans, King Philip’s War and of course Massasoit, Miles Standish and William Bradford. Philbrick’s historical narrative flows with an ease , in great part, because the reader never loses track of the principal players and their recurring roles as history unfolds. This single volume painlessly educates the reader about Puritan history, the odd collection of mankind called Pilgrims, the Mayflower’s voyage, King Philips War and the beginning of the two century’s of deceitful treatment of Native Americans . The efficiency with which Philbrick tells this story is remarkable.
For all of the aforementioned good reasons I eagerly purchased Philbrick’s THE LAST STAND, Custer, Sitting Bull and The Battle of The Little Bighorn. Once again the author distills this often told story into 312 pages of narrative that places all of the elements of a complex story, distorted by time and ideology, into laser-like focus. Interwoven in both books is the vivid picture of how not much had changed between the white settlers engagement with the Indians of New England in 1620 and the duplicitous treatment of America’s Great Plains Indians in the later part of the 19th century. In both cases the author explodes many myths carried forward over the two centuries. THE LAST STAND, much to absorb about American culture, Manifest Destiny, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Custer, Reno and what can occur when a presidential administration becomes distracted!
Because the subject matter of the Mayflower and Custer’s Last Stand is so much in the public domain you may think you already have a firm grasp on the narrative. Think again! Take a second look at these two landmarks in American history through the eyes, mind and research of historian and story-teller Nathaniel Philbrick.
Also by Nathaniel Philbrick In The Heart of The Sea, Sea of Glory; The Epic South Seas Expedition 1838-1842 . I am currently reading Philbrick’s latest work , Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution.