Thanksgiving is not a book about a holiday. It s about something that a few dozen survivors did after a year of suffering, death, struggle, and courage. They bowed their heads to give thanks. The Pilgrims journey began as a joint venture of business and religion, but soon it became a matter of survival. With 102 men, women, and children packed into a dim, wet space below the main deck, the Mayflower set out on a terrifying 66-day crossing of the Atlantic. They dropped anchor well north of where they d intended, and just as the New England winter was setting in. With no choice but to spend the winter in the dank, frigid ship, they took ill. One by one, almost half of them died. The few individuals well enough to work rowed the dead into shore and buried them in graves left unmarked so the Indians wouldn t know how weak they were. Spring promised only a year of toil and difficulties as they attempted to settle new land in a place they called Plymouth. But then a miracle walked out of the woods...an Indian who had already crossed the Atlantic four times. He spoke English very well. He showed them how to catch the local fish and grow the local crops. He introduced them to the local people, and in an experience unique in colonial history, Europeans and Indians became friends and allies. And that autumn, the new and native Americans came together for a feast that lasted three days. Thanksgiving is a book of fact that all but breathes with the human drama of life, death, birth, hope, prayer, work, desperation, and thanks. Though these few dozen people were hardly the first Europeans to settle in North America, their values and beliefs grew into the American culture. We are what they were. Every American should read this book before bowing for grace on Thanksgiving Day.
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Glenn Alan Cheney is the author of over 25 books of fiction and nonfiction, hundreds of articles, and several op-ed essays, stories, and poems. He has written on business and finance, Chernobyl, Brazil, Lincoln, the testing of nuclear weapons, Mohandas Gandhi, and many other topics.Review:
Glenn Cheney vividly depicts the courage and faith of the Pilgrim settlers and the generosity and friendship offered by the Native Americans who welcomed them and helped them survive. The American culture of independence, hard work, and cooperation grew from the seeds planted at Plymouth. Every American should appreciate what happened there. --U.S. Representative Joe Courtney
Thanksgiving,/i> should be read by people who are familiar with the Pilgrim story and those who are not because it fills in many of the little episodes that people hear but don t connect together. We will never know exactly what happened back then, but this book brings those episodes together in a scenario of how they may well have happened. --Edward Delano Sullivan - Governor General - General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Glenn Cheney's Thanksgiving brings together numerous aspects of the Mayflower story into a comfortable and logically organized text, faithfully retelling the story of the Pilgrims first year at Plymouth, the history behind their voyage, and their interactions with Native Americans. --Caleb Johnson, Historian & Author
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