June 25, 2006

Unpredictable Pilgrims and Indians

Looking at Pilgrims' story in new lightWho needs to read a book about the Pilgrims, whose hoary story every safety-scissor and construction paper-equipped American second-grader knows?

"Mayflower" author Nathaniel Philbrick would judge that a fair question. He writes that he began his project knowing both "the time-honored tradition of how the Pilgrims came to symbolize all that is good about America and the now equally familiar modern tale of how the evil Europeans annihilated the innocent native Americans.

"I soon learned that the real-life Indians and English of the seventeenth century were too smart, too generous, too greedy, too brave--in short, too human--to behave so predictably."

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