One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ First Year in America

New Word City
13
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This vivid, deeply moving book begins in London in 1620 as Pilgrim representatives sign a contract to purchase the freighter Mayflower. We accompany them on their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic, through the rigors of the first New England winter and the threat of Indian attack as they desperately search for the home they eventually find at Plymouth. Once there, they must continue the struggle against brutal weather and disease.

With masterly skill, New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming gives us life-size portraits of the Pilgrim leaders. The Pilgrims' unique achievements - the Mayflower Compact, their tolerance of other faiths, the strict separation of church and state - are discussed in the context of the first year's anxieties and crises. Fleming writes admiringly of the younger men who emerged in that year as the real leaders of the colony - William Bradford and Miles Standish. And he provides new insights into the humanity and tolerance of the Pilgrims' spiritual shepherd, Elder William Brewster.

On the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims are already aware that they are the forerunners of a great nation. It is implicit in William Bradford's words, "As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light kindled here has shone unto many. . . ."
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About the author

Thomas Fleming is one of the most distinguished and productive historians and novelists of our time. He has written 20 nonfiction books that have won prizes and praise from critics and fellow historians, many with a special focus on the American Revolution. He has also written 23 novels, many of them bestsellers, which explore the lives of men and women in vivid narratives that range from the raw America of the 1730s to the superpower that confronted World War II and endured Korea and Vietnam.
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4.5
13 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
New Word City
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Published on
Jan 11, 2017
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Pages
372
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ISBN
9781612301464
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / African American
History / Social History
History / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
History / United States / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER
LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER
HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER 
DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE FINALIST
      
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times  • USA Today • O: The Oprah Magazine • Amazon • Publishers Weekly •  Salon • Newsday  • The Daily Beast
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker •  The Washington Post • The Economist • Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle •  Chicago  
Tribune • Entertainment Weekly • Philadelphia Inquirer • The Guardian • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch  • The Christian Science Monitor 

 From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
 
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming brings his extraordinary biographical talents to bear upon Benjamin Franklin, perhaps the least understood of America's revolutionary giants. For this reappraisal, Fleming concentrates on the mature Franklin, the man who lived nearly thirty years beyond the point where he ended his famous Autobiography. The poor boy, the miserly young printer, has become a decidedly more complex and cultured man. In scene after vivid scene, Fleming shows us how Franklin's unique blend of faith and courage, humor and wisdom presided over the birth of the American nation.

Interwoven in this political history is a moving, almost forgotten personal drama - the conflict between Franklin and his son William, the royal governor of New Jersey, the "thorough courtier," as Franklin called him. Year by year, we watch the two men drift apart as the quarrel between America and England deepens - yet always reaching across the gulf with words of personal affection.

Finally comes the climactic confrontation, when a fully disillusioned Franklin returns from eleven years in England to confront the son for whom independence is a hated word. With him, Franklin brings William's son Temple, educated in England. The bitter political quarrel soon forces father and grandfather to fight for the boy's loyalty.

This personalization of history is Thomas Fleming's hallmark.

Almost as revealing as the dramatization of Franklin's battle with his son is the chronicle of Franklin's years in England before the Revolution. We see the network of friendships he created, the deep feeling with which he and William visited the ancestral village of Ecton, the fascinating blend of emotion and reason in his crucial testimony before Parliament at the height of the Stamp Act furor in 1766.

Then we see this innate passion for England slowly fade during the next eight years as Franklin struggles to defend America from Parliament's greedy prejudice and - another forgotten story - simultaneously to establish a fourteenth colony on the Ohio. As always, Fleming combines colorful anecdote and shrewd analysis of men and motives. And Franklin being Franklin, there is also the constant spice of humor.

We see him stopping at a country inn and emptying the chairs by the fire by booming: "Boy, get my horse a quart of oysters." Solemnly, he informs historian Edward Gibbon that he would provide him with "ample materials" on the decline and fall of the British Empire. The war won, he cheerfully assures English friends that their only hope now was to dissolve Parliament for good and "send delegates to Congress."

We see him using humor to cope with the egotism and paranoia of other Americans in Paris. Finally, we witness him as mon cher papa, the friend and aspiring lover of two beautiful French women, wooing them with the wittiest essays ever written by a seventy-six-year-old suitor.

But in all the byplay, personal and political, one theme dominates: Franklin's dedication to America - a commitment that transcended all others in his life and inspired him to dare the political lightning. It is what makes this book important reading now and in the future.
"A superb retelling of the story of Valley Forge and its aftermath, demonstrating that reality is far more compelling than myth." - Gordon S. Wood

The defining moments of the American Revolution did not occur on the battlefield or at the diplomatic table, writes New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming, but at Valley Forge. Fleming transports us to December 1777. While the British army lives in luxury in conquered Philadelphia, Washington's troops huddle in the barracks of Valley Forge, fending off starvation and disease even as threats of mutiny swirl through the regiments. Though his army stands on the edge of collapse, George Washington must wage a secondary war, this one against the slander of his reputation as a general and patriot. Washington strategizes not only against the British army but against General Horatio Gates, the victor in the Battle of Saratoga, who has attracted a coterie of ambitious generals devising ways to humiliate and embarrass Washington into resignation.

Using diaries and letters, Fleming creates an unforgettable portrait of an embattled Washington. Far from the long-suffering stoic of historical myth, Washington responds to attacks from Gates and his allies with the skill of a master politician. He parries the thrusts of his covert enemies, and, as necessary, strikes back with ferocity and guile. While many histories portray Washington as a man who has transcended politics, Fleming's Washington is exceedingly complex, a man whose political maneuvering allowed him to retain his command even as he simultaneously struggled to prevent the Continental Army from dissolving into mutiny at Valley Forge.

Written with his customary flair and eye for human detail and drama, Thomas Fleming's gripping narrative develops with the authority of a major historian and the skills of a master storyteller. Washington's Secret War is not only a revisionist view of the American ordeal at Valley Forge - it calls for a new assessment of the man too often simplified into an American legend. This is narrative history at its best and most vital.
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