Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Best Book of 2006

At the end of each year I like to recommend books. There have been a number of wonderful works printed this last year that are notable mentions. So Richard Phillips' commentary on Hebrews has proved to be a clarifying and thorough read (though I haven't even approached finishing it). Also noteworthy are Wayne Grudem's Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism; John Piper and Justin Taylor's edited volume Suffering and the Sovereingty of God; and Curtis C. Thomas's Life in the Body. But none of these books stand as my favorite read of 2006.

While I didn't actually finish reading it until the New Year was already upon us my favorite book of 2006 is Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower. This rivetting biography, and historical analysis of the pilgrims and early colonial America from 1620 to 1676 blew me away. Philbrick is a nationally acclaimed history author, winning both the National Book Award, and the Roosevelt Naval History Award. This particular volume only adds to his oustanding collection of praiseworthy works.

Mayflower is the conclusion to Philbrick's personal dive into the history of the Native American Sachem known as "King Philip". The book wresltes with the issues surrounding the changes in the relationships between colonialists and Indians between their initial landing at Plymouth Rock and the conclusion of "King Philips' War," where thousands of Native Americans were slaughtered, along with numerous colonialists. It is the authors conclusion that the Pilgrims and the Natives were simply too "human" to fit into either the traditional Thanksgiving Myth or the Evil White-European Opressor Myth. They were both equally generous, kind, and good, as well as greedy, violent, merciless.

The book recounts both the sad trajedies of the establishment of the United Colonies, and eventually America, and the amazing feats of stellar individuals from our nation's past. It is worth reading not only for pleasure, but for information.

Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower is my pick for best book of 2006!


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