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Monday, January 08, 2018

They Came For Freedom by Jay Milbrandt

This is an interesting story, but, unfortunately it is written in  a rather 'textbookish' manner. Still, it's
an important part of American history which has been somewhat neglected, surprisingly.  I am not American but I like to read American history and I have been to Plymouth a few times so I am very interested in the Pilgrims.

The Pilgrims are often regarded as quaint and backward. Milbrandt shows that they were the opposite. Most, if not all, were well-educated and some came from moneyed backgrounds. They found the relgious laws of England oppressive to Non-Conformists and they faced a difficult struggle because of their beliefs leading to their fateful journey to the U.S. Although their experiment was a failure, they created a 'remarkably ordered society,' established the rule of law and separated church and state.

Milbrandt writes in detail about their terrible difficulties. Even before they arrived in America, many had to endure prison terms in England and  working in harsh factories in Holland. Once they arrived, there were fights with the Indians, severe weather conditions and near-starvation. It's certainly harrowing to read!

This is worth reading, especially if you like American history.

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