No Reason to Give Thanks
The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving
David J. Silverman
2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Plymouth Colony. It will be a chance to celebrate a moment that shaped the history of America, but it is also an opportunity to look beyond the celebration, and to consider the history of Plymouth (not to mention the first Thanksgiving) from a different perspective.
The founding of Plymouth Colony – when seen from the vantage of the Wampanoag Indians – is a story of unrealized possibilities. By broadening the narrative to consider what happened between 1620 and the devastating war between the Wampanoags and the English fifty years later, This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving, sheds a very different light on the conventional Thanksgiving story of harmony, triumph and orderly progress toward democracy.
In this timely and provocative book, historian David J. Silverman gives voice to the Wampanoags and in so doing, offers a more nuanced and complicated vision of the founding events than has been told before. It transforms the history into a poignant story, and raises important questions about who we are as a nation.