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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Gift
This book came as a total surprise for me. I was doing research on my family tree and searched Amazon.com for books on Nantucket. This book answered all of my questions. Nathaniel Philbrick has done a very complete job in presenting the history of Nantucket and putting everything into context. In many ways, Nantucket society was pretty progressive when compared to...
Published on March 4, 2009 by PJ SanDiego

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Nantucket
This book is very informative about the history and society of early Nantucket. Not as dry as a straight history book.
Published 12 months ago by Charles J Franck


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Gift, March 4, 2009
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This book came as a total surprise for me. I was doing research on my family tree and searched Amazon.com for books on Nantucket. This book answered all of my questions. Nathaniel Philbrick has done a very complete job in presenting the history of Nantucket and putting everything into context. In many ways, Nantucket society was pretty progressive when compared to what was going on in the Colonies at the time. I am astonished by how much America and the world has been influenced by many great people who called Nantucket home.

For those trying to piece together their family tree, Philbrick provides enough information for each prominent person for one to trace the connections. I recommend this book for anyone interested in Nantucket history and/or anyone with family connections to Nantucket.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, November 14, 2012
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C. Rust (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
This quality writing tells the story of the fascinating people who established the first European settlement on Nantucket, and why they were drawn to the place. As a direct descendant of most of those early settlers, I find this book mesmerizing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting!, April 23, 2013
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This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
Nathanieln Philbrick has put together a very informative, easy to read book that is a tribute to the people past and present of Nantucket.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More lonely than the Eddystone lighthouse...Nantucket, March 16, 2012
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"Away Off Shore" by Nathaniel Philbrick

"Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it. See what a real corner of the world it occupies; how it stands there, away off shore, more lonely than the Eddystone lighthouse. Look at it-a mere hillock, an elbow of sand, all beach, without a background." from "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville

As a life long resident of New England and a frequent visitor to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard this book had substantial appeal to this reader. Add to that the fact that I had previously read Mr. Philbrick's other books so I was aware he was a gifted history writer. As you would expect my interest in the subject matter was enthusiastic to say the least. Nonetheless I can well understand the limited appeal this book could have with the general reading public. After all the history of "Nantucket Island and its People, 1602-1890" is a very specialized topic. Perhaps a smart editor took Mr. Philbrick aside and told him "OK you got that book out of your system now write something that can become a national bestseller, like a book on the Mayflower of George Armstrong Custer for example".

I for one am thankful that Mr. Philbrick cut his teeth so to speak on this subject - this was his first published book. I learned a great deal concerning the native americians, the whaling industry, the Great Fire, the leading families and interesting places to visit to name a few. You know, even if you live on the other coast and will never visit this island you just may enjoy reading this book.

That ends my review. The following "Martha's Vineyard" story is told by Philbrick in his book "Mayflower" and is one of my favorites so I will share it with you:

Prior to the Pilgrims landing on Cape Cod in 1620 other English explores visited the same area. One sea captain captured several local Indians and took them back to London. One brave was exceedingly tall. During the voyage he learned to speak passing English. Once back in England the enterprising captain would charge for the curious to see the tall Indian who could speak English. The Indian noticed that his captives were very fond of gold. He told them that he knew the location of a gold mine on an island off of Cape Cod and would be willing to be there guide. The Captain knew the Spanish found gold in the New World so with visions of great wealth he rounded up a crew, outfitted his ship and headed to the New World. As the ship approached Martha's Vineyard the Indian jumped ship swam to shore and was never seen again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nantucker an Island of Desire, August 17, 2013
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This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
Having visited Nantucket many years ago I am sure it has changed ? Just love his writings ! Can't put the book down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Nantucket, October 15, 2013
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This book is very informative about the history and society of early Nantucket. Not as dry as a straight history book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History worth reading, January 30, 2014
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This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
Wonderful book! Very informative and historic. It gives a sense of how precarious life was on that little island. Even getting there was dangerous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interresting, June 3, 2014
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This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
Well written and interesting, a little known corner of American History. Sometimes a bit too much detail, but that is the author's forte.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is part of our family history, January 16, 2014
By 
da chef (PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
My father-in-law told me some of the history of his family when my husband and I were married 50+ years ago. They were some of the original owners of Nantucket Island; three whalers in the family went down on the Essex which was stove in by a whale; the family married into the Macy family, his great-grandfather was a cooper who made barrels for the whaling ships and many more stories. Several years later after having vacationed on the island several times I teased him about letting that property out of the family!! This book brings back fond memories that make our history even more vivid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, consice, easy to read, July 11, 2013
This review is from: Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (Paperback)
I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Philbrick at the Fort Knox library's author's series. Even though he was promoting his new book Bunker Hill, I was drawn to Away Off Shore because I had just visited Nantucket again for the second time with my husband. I wasn't sure how the book was going to read, being a history book...would it be dry and droll on? Absolutely not. Mr. Philbrick writes like he speaks and I heard his voice through all the stories of Nantucket he was telling. Each chapter is pretty much a story and subject of its own and as I read a chapter a night, I found it was a very easy read. I was at first intimidated by the title and the dates it would address, but found it very entertaining. Now I'm looking forward to visiting Nantucket again after learning so much of it's history. Now all I want is a more current history from this terrific writer and I would gladly buy that up immediately.
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Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890
Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 by Nathaniel Philbrick (Paperback - April 26, 2011)
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