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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, 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:
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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

  • “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.” 


  • “A bold work of revisionism.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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About the Author

Nick Bunker, graduate of Cambridge and Columbia University, 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 in Lincolnshire, England.