A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving

Godfrey Hodgson, Author PublicAffairs $24.95 (212p) ISBN 978-1-58648-373-9
After reading this book, readers may finally fully understand the meaning of Thanksgiving as the Pilgrims first intended. Beginning with the religious movements in 17th century Europe, Hodgson gives a fastidiously researched description of the path that leads the Pilgrims to the new world to preach their godly message. Contrary to 19th century prints, Hodgson describes the Pilgrims at their first landing, not ""with fife and drum, watched by cowering Indians, but staggering ashore, exhausted, drenched, and chilled to the bone."" Establishing the colony was a brutal exercise. The Pilgrims endured ""the starving time,"" and had to secretly bury bodies ""so the Indians should not suspect how much the settlement was weakened."" Hodgson follows the evolution of Thanksgiving into contemporary times, chronicling the rise of football as a Thanksgiving tradition, ""almost as sacred as turkey and cranberry sauce, or pumpkin pie."" At times Hodgson's attention to detail slows down the narrative, but balances it out with the tale on the high seas and the patriotism of the colonists.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 212 pages - 978-1-58648-504-7
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