For anyone looking to refresh their memory on the story of the Mayflower, this book (Mayflower: A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History) may be worth the hour it takes to read.

As one Amazon reviewers notes, the authors do not stick 100 percent to the history we were taught in school, but they do give a nice recap of the religious situation in England, and Europe, that led to the Pilgrims choosing to set out for a new country, a reminder that the New World was not actually their first attempt in leaving England, and perhaps most importantly, they spend a moment on the simple reminder that Pilgrim and Puritan are not interchangeable words, but do in fact have separate meanings, referring to different groups.

One of the interesting thoughts conveyed in the book is that some of the founding principles and ideals that the United States of America has since taken to heart, and been built upon, were not necessarily intended to be set as precedents with the intent that a nation would look back to them as guiding principles.  The Pilgrims were seeking a place they could live, free from Religious persecution… but did they realize they would be setting an example of Religious tolerance for all who followed them to the New World’s shores?  The Mayflower Compact was drafted and signed because the Mayflower did not land where it had expected to… because the contract they had traveled on did not seem to apply to the land on which they were about to settle.  Were they, in setting pen to paper in the manner they did, purposely setting an example of Democratic governing?

Whether you just want to take a moment to reflect on the journey of some of the first immigrants to the United States, or are seeking to brush up on a little US History before your children hit this topic in school, this quick read hits the high points of the Mayflower’s journey, the reason the Pilgrim’s took it, and touches on the hardships they faced upon arrival.

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