Author says Thanksgiving tale invented by tradition, not supported by history
The Pilgrims had their own troubles. Of the 100 original settlers, half died in the first three months. When Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag, signed his alliance with the Pilgrims, he did so because his tribe was weak and because he hoped to use the alliance against rival tribes. The Pilgrims, equally weak, needed infusions of Indian agricultural products and techniques--and a trading partner. For a while, this need-based alliance held.
But within half a century, the English settlers and the region's Indian tribes were engaged in an all-out war for survival, known as King Philip's War.