David J. Silverman delivers [the story] in astonishing detail in This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving, recovering the nuances of Wampanoag personalities and power-plays to a greater degree than most lay readers of American history would believe possible ... His pointed, lucid prose makes his book as deeply engaging as it is sobering. He also provides helpful maps and an indispensable glossary to help keep track of the many Native American figures in the story, especially those known by multiple names.
This publication is well researched and includes many contemporary illustrations and maps as well as a glossary of key native people and places referenced in the text. It should be required reading for how not to treat indigenous peoples. Although this has somewhat of a limited happy ending for the Wampanoags, it cannot make up for what was done to them. It certainly set the tone for what happened to other Native groups who suffered for our Manifest Destiny
Focusing on the Wampanoag and their Native American neighbors in New England, historian Silverman...repositions the Wampanoag-pilgrim relationship within the region’s history and brings its complexity to life ... Linking this history to a present in which New England Indians observe a Day of Mourning on the third Thursday in November, Silverman’s highly recommended work enlightens as it calls into question persistent myths about the origins of Thanksgiving.
Silverman's reconstruction of the world of the Wampanoag provides fascinating insights for both general readers and scholars into the early years of the colonization of Massachusetts, situating not only Thanksgiving within the nation's history but also the tragedy of King Philip's War.
An impassioned, deeply knowledgeable history of the 'first contacts' between the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the English and Europeans, this time told from the Native side ... Throughout this well-documented, unique history, Silverman offers a detailed look at the long, tortured relations between the two and captures the palpable sense of overall mourning after the aftermath of King Philip’s War and the attempt to annihilate (and assimilate) the Wampanoags—and their incredible ability to transcend the dehumanization and prevail. Ultimately, the author provides an important, heart-rending story of the treachery of alliances and the individuals caught in the crosshairs, a powerful history ... An eye-opening, vital reexamination of America’s founding myth.
... [a] revealing study of the 1621 gathering at Plymouth colony between Puritan colonists and Wampanoag Indians that inspired the holiday ... This lucidly written and convincingly argued account of the most 'American' of traditions deserves to be read widely.