Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History by Nick Bunker
In 1620, against a backdrop of deep economic depression, men and women across the United Kingdom and Europe readied themselves for war, pestilence, or divine retribution. Finding themselves upon the precipice of something monumental, European nations were plagued by an atmosphere of great fear and trepidation for what was to come. Amid this climate of uncertainty, a small party of determined separatists was steadfastly conceiving an enterprise of exile. The “Pilgrims”, as they would later be called, prepared to sail across the Atlantic on board the now famous ship known as the Mayflower. Woefully undersupplied and unprepared, they were the least likely of groups to succeed in establishing a viable and permanent presence in the New World. Entrepreneurs as well as evangelicals, political radicals as well as Christian idealists, the members of this expedition embarked on a journey that would carry them from mercantile London and rural England to the Netherlands and ultimately overseas to the hallowed settlement famously christened Plymouth Plantation. Within a decade, despite crisis and catastrophe, they would build a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on beaver fur, corn, and cattle. And in doing so, they would lay the foundations for Massachusetts, New England, and a new nation. But, how did this small group of otherwise unremarkable individuals reach the point of abandoning their homeland for an unknown future in a forbidding wilderness on the other side of a vast ocean? Making Haste from Babylon tells their story in unrivaled depth, from their roots in religious conflict and village strife at home to their final creation of a permanent foothold in America. Combining religion, politics, money, science, and the sea, author Nick Bunker weaves a rich and strikingly original narrative of the Mayflower project and the first decade of the Plymouth Colony.