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Download Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History Audiobook, by Nick Bunker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (103 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nick Bunker Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9780307714459
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At the end of 1618, a blazing green star soared across the night sky over the northern hemisphere. From the Philippines to the Arctic, the comet became a sensation and a symbol, a warning of doom or a promise of salvation. Two years later, as the Pilgrims prepared to sail across the Atlantic on board the Mayflower, the atmosphere remained charged with fear and expectation. Men and women readied themselves for war, pestilence, or divine retribution. Against this background, and amid deep economic depression, the Pilgrims conceived their enterprise of exile.

Within a decade, despite crisis and catastrophe, they built a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on beaver fur, corn, and cattle. In doing so, they laid the foundations for Massachusetts, New England, and a new nation. Using a wealth of new evidence from landscape, archaeology, and hundreds of overlooked or neglected documents, Nick Bunker gives a vivid and strikingly original account of the Mayflower project and the first decade of the Plymouth Colony. From mercantile London and the rural England of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I to the mountains and rivers of Maine, he weaves a rich narrative that combines religion, politics, money, science, and the sea.

The Pilgrims were entrepreneurs as well as evangelicals, political radicals as well as Christian idealists. Making Haste from Babylon tells their story in unrivaled depth, from their roots in religious conflict and village strife at home to their final creation of a permanent foothold in America.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One opens this book with a weary sense of resignation. More hagiography about national origins? Another group of founders? The Pilgrims? The Mayflower? The Compact? The first Thanksgiving? A ‘new history’? Please! Enough already. And yet…it’s not like that, not at all. To the contrary, Nick Bunker offers a remarkably fresh take on (it’s true) an old and well-worn story… The evidence...adds up to a picture so full and vivid as to constitute a virtual ground-level tour of an otherwise lost world. The Washington Post
     
    “A meticulous exploration of the lives of the Pilgrims before they even set sail…It’s a comprehensive work of genius and a delight to read.
  • Bunker…is simply a marvelous writer with a nose for the fascinating anecdote…There’s some intriguing fact or story on every page…so much of Making Haste from Babylon [is] rich in the thrill of brushing up against the past and its fathomless mysteries. Salon.com
  • A bold work of revisionism. Harper’s Magazine
     
  • Making Haste from Babylon is essential reading for those who think they know the story of the Pilgrims…All this and more Bunker relates with enviable concision and verve. BBC History Magazine
  • Prodigious…[Bunker’s] vivid style and bold analysis infuse this book with colour and pace, and the result is an indispensable contribution to understanding how it all began. Literary Review
  • This superb book secures for the Pilgrims their iconic perch among the earliest founders of colonial America. Bunker…has succeeded in writing a major history, unprecedented in its sweep, of the Plymouth Colony…Never before has such a comprehensive and thoroughly researched study of the subject appeared…. The results are stunning. Certain to be the dominating work on the Pilgrims for decades. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Nick Bunker has done the seemingly impossible: he has shed new light on the oldest of stories, the epic of the Pilgrims' experience in the Old and New Worlds.  With graceful writing and diligent scholarship, he has given us an engaging and original book. Jon Meacham
  • I have rarely read a book which combines such a breadth of canvas...with such penetrating and detailed research. Patrick Collinson, Professor of Modern History, Cambridge University (emeritus)
  • In this beautifully written and imagined book, impeccably researched, and full of  so many fresh insights and  discoveries,  Nick Bunker has given us the most grounded and convincing portrait  yet achieved of what drove the Pilgrim Fathers to seek their faith and fortune in the New World…Combining intensive archive research with a time traveler’s eye  he conjures  a wonderfully evocative  sense of place… It is a fabulous tale of our ancestors, but also the true founding moment of America. Michael Wood, British historian, documentary filmmaker, and broadcaster
  • “Nick Bunker has done the seemingly impossible: he has shed new light on the oldest of stories, the epic of the Pilgrims’ experience…With graceful writing and diligent scholarship, he has given us an engaging and original book.”

    Jon Meacham, New York Times bestselling author of Thomas Jefferson

  • “Nick Bunker offers a remarkably fresh take on (it’s true) an old and well-worn story.…The evidence…adds up to a picture so full and vivid as to constitute a virtual ground-level tour of an otherwise lost world.” 

    Washington Post

  • Making Haste from Babylon [is] rich in the thrill of brushing up against the past and its fathomless mysteries.” 

    Salon

  • “A bold work of revisionism.”

    Harper’s

  • “A wonderfully engaging study.…Bunker has written that rarest of books—a scholarly history with all the narrative punch of a novel.”

    Providence Journal

  • “A remarkable tour de force destined to become an indispensable resource for in-depth understanding of the colonial experience in New England.”

    Historical Journal of Massachusetts

  • “Prodigious…[Bunker’s] vivid style and bold analysis infuse this book with color and pace, and the result is an indispensable contribution to understanding how it all began.”

    Literary Review

  • “[A] superb book…Certain to be the dominating work on the Pilgrims for decades.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “I have rarely read a book which combines such a breadth of canvas…with such penetrating and detailed research.”

    Patrick Collinson, professor emeritus of modern history, Cambridge University

  • “In this beautifully written and imagined book, impeccably researched, and full of  so many fresh insights and  discoveries, Nick Bunker has given us the most grounded and convincing portrait  yet achieved of what drove the Pilgrim fathers to seek their faith and fortune in the New World.”

    Michael Wood, British historian, documentary filmmaker, and broadcaster

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 2/12/2014

    " Completely new perspective on the Mayflower Pilgrims. But, more important, an excellent history of the times and incentives, beyond religion, that moved the Pilgrims. I thank the author for this research... there was so much to uncover under the obvious story that we all know. Loved this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/9/2014

    " This is the only book I've read about the pilgrims which is convincing about their very mindset. I loved the integration of William Bradford's own writings with the books in his library. Fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 2/6/2014

    " Wow! Good History makes you see familiar stories in a new light. this book is very good and very rich in detail. It puts the Pilgrims in their world context, not just in America. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martin Hogan | 1/29/2014

    " Insightful, to say the least. This will take you on a vast journey into the bowels of Mayflower history like no other volume. Pair this with Philbrick's "Mayflower" (a more linear volume). It will be like jumping in Lake Superior in the Keweenaw; the intense cold will wake up those senses and then marvel at the cleanliness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 1/18/2014

    " I'd like this a lot better with footnotes, but as popular history, I can forgive a lot in that it keeps the settlement of New England firmly in the middle of an Atlantic economic, political and physical world in which the events of the Thirty Years War, religious policy, fashion for beaver hats and the deforestation of Northern Europe shape American history in significant and frequently entertaining ways. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Duff | 1/8/2014

    " Incredible research, but at too many points it seemed just too much! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 12/29/2013

    " Interesting but oddly organized. I felt like it kept switching back and forth between topics and I kept getting lost. Possibly this had to do with my attention span more than anything else. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ej cullen | 12/10/2013

    " This book, while poetic and informative, jumps all over the place like a kangaroo with a hotfoot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 11/14/2013

    " An excellent reference on the Pilgrims, on both sides of the Atlantic - the times and events leading up to the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 and their experiences in the region of Plymouth and the rest of New England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip | 10/18/2013

    " Individual Pilgrims and Separatists prepare to leave Europe for New England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Butch | 5/12/2013

    " Interesting look at the origins of the Plymouth colony and how they survived. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred M | 4/7/2013

    " Amazing to read about the now-meaningless issues that people thought were worth fighting about in those days. How many of today's political and religious disputes will seem as silly in another 400 years? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug Bremner | 11/17/2012

    " Interesting original research and background on the people we know today as the pilgrims around the time of their emigration. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin Anderson | 5/3/2012

    " Did not finish this book, not because of its quality but due to time and energy. I am more interested in the Puritans and Winthrop Fleet people than the Pilgrims, so moved on. May come back to it sometime. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 S. Annelise Adams | 1/1/2012

    " I should find this much more interesting than I do. It's just that Puritans were kinda no fun to begin with... Am I right? Sorry, Grandpa Rogers. I jumped ship on this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keith | 6/16/2011

    " couldn't bear finishing this book...too laborious and filled with details on English small-town origins and backstory... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 4/8/2011

    " Splendid research, would prefer a tidier presentation, too many starts and stops in new places, an overflow of names and stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayla | 1/27/2011

    " Interesting but oddly organized. I felt like it kept switching back and forth between topics and I kept getting lost. Possibly this had to do with my attention span more than anything else. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keith | 9/3/2010

    " couldn't bear finishing this book...too laborious and filled with details on English small-town origins and backstory... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ej | 8/2/2010

    " This book, while poetic and informative, jumps all over the place like a kangaroo with a hotfoot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 5/1/2010

    " Splendid research, would prefer a tidier presentation, too many starts and stops in new places, an overflow of names and stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 4/29/2010

    " I like anything about pilgrims so I was predisposed to enjoy this, but it's very rambley. Lots of cool facts but the poor author cannot tell you anything without distracting himself - and you the reader - with something else.

    You will learn much about the beaver, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 1/27/2010

    " Wow! Good History makes you see familiar stories in a new light. this book is very good and very rich in detail. It puts the Pilgrims in their world context, not just in America. Highly recommended. "

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About the Author
A graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, with a master’s degree from Columbia University, Nick Bunker has had a diverse career in finance and journalism. A former investment banker and reporter for the Financial Times, he now lives with his wife, Susan, in Lincolnshire, England.
About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.