My mom gave me this book; I do like most things genealogical, historical, and Americana (through WWI). Somewhere in my genealogical research a few years ago, I discovered that my mom's family has a line that *may* go back to William Brewster of the Mayflower, somehow. My ancestory.com account is deactivated, and I'm not yet ready to go back to that hobby anytime soon. If I do decide to pursue it later, I need to remember that it was potentially through the Tappen line.
The beginning of the book is what I remember from school and other reading for pleasure. Not the sanitized President Lincoln form of the Thanksgiving holiday that many of us celebrate now, but the clash and symbiotic relationship that developed between the Pilgrims and Massasoit, the local Indian leader. This relationship would remain peaceful until his death and his crazy son, who came to be known as King Philip, started a sickening and costly war. Costly in terms of lives of both Indians and New England settlers (from Maine to Delaware), and what little property there was on either side, shelters/buildings, animals, tools-all destroyed. The battles are retold in horrific detail based on the accounts of Englishmen who fought in these massacres - this part of the book I could barely get through. Though it's certainly not taught in school, even slavery is common during this early period of America; shipping the captured Indians off to the Caribbean Islands to work on plantations there. Though it is United States history and to better understand the sufferings of the past and present, it is necessary to learn the details. The final chapter, Conclusion, is a wonderful summery of the book, without the gore, but with the lessons. After King Philips war ended, at his death. The path was laid for fighting a combined French and Indian force, starting just 13 years later in 1689, even though the official French and Indian War did not start until the 1750s.
If I could, I would have given it 4.5 stars, since I had to choose, I went with 4. I won't be rereading this one so I rounded down instead of up.
This Thanksgiving I will be eating a Paleo meal with my mom and step-father. Since they are both usually vegetarian, I'm not sure if we'll have turkey or another local farm raised meat; but I know there will be wonderful organic fruits and vegetables! (a friend has gifted me Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Diane Sanfilippo, if you're interested in checking it out.)
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!