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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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King Philip's War: The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict Paperback – December 1, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Now largely forgotten, the massacres of 1675 to 1676, known as King Philip's War, ended the harmonious relations that had existed between native Americans and the colonists since their arrival at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Tensions had been rising as the number of settlers grew, and the pillaging of an outlying farm by affronted young braves escalated into open hostilities. Pitched battles were fought from Rhode Island to Maine. Hundreds of English died as farmers fled and cowered behind stockades or in the few port towns. Thousands of natives were slaughtered and the rest dispersed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. The savagery resulted in the clearing of the native populations from southern New England and the unopposed expansion of the New England colonies. It also became the brutal model on which the United States came to deal with its native peoples. King Philip's War tells the story with such close attention to detail that each ambush, each burned-out farm, becomes a vivid image. The authors make abundant use of maps and photographs of old sites to enable the reader to follow the course of the war: the book forms an exhaustive guide for the armchair historian or anyone wishing to visit the monuments and battlefields today. The terror and bitterness of the period live again in the book's illustrations of old woodcuts and lithographs and in quotations from contemporary narratives. That King Philip, whose head was paraded around the streets of Plymouth in a barbarous show of triumph, was the son of the Wampanoag chief who celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in 1621 adds to the irony and tragedy of the events, whose memory this well-researched book deservedly keeps alive. --John Stevenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This work about the brutal 18th-century war between Indian tribes (led by a daring and skilled chief known as King Philip) is divided into three quite different parts. The first part provides a relatively concise chronological retelling of the war. The second part, organized geographically and the heart of the volume, takes readers through New England to various sites associated with the conflict. Frequent references to present-day localities make it possible to use these pages as a sort of historical guidebook. The third part offers three contemporary narratives reflecting the significance of the war on the people of the era. Useful maps assist the reader throughout. Although King Philip's War is little known today, the conflict has not been as ignored as the authors claim hereAwitness, for example, Jill Lepore's acclaimed The Name of War (LJ 3/1/98). However, this book does much to reestablish the conflict's importance for popular historical study of the area, making it especially useful for public libraries.ACharles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (December 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881504831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881504835
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have read most everything written on King Philip's War in the last few years and this is by far the best. There's a brief but complete history of the war right up front, including some interesting details on pre-war New England and on the aftermath of the war. (Check out the section about the veterans!) Schultz and Tougias go out of their way to be even-handed in the description of battles; there's even a segment praising the Nipmuck's Muttawmp, perhaps the strongest military leader on either side. (He barely rates a mention in most texts.) The authors also question Canonchet's handling of the Great Swamp Fight and poke some holes in traditional descriptions of the engagement. Since I am from New England, though, I liked best the travelogue in section two. I have already visited the sites in Sudbury and Turner's Falls, and the book really brings them to life. There are several dozen illustrations and ten or more maps, and these really add to the text as well. This spring I intend to see a number of other sites, including Bloody Brook and Beer's Ambush. By contrast, Jill Lepore's book is excellent but very frustrating because it lacks a chronological history of the war. It's also written like a thesis, so the reader has to already have a good grasp of how the war unfolded in order to follow her argument. Leach's book is a classic but stops before the war ends in Maine, and gives no clue as to how to find any of the sites mentioned. (By the way, Leach praises Schultz and Tougias on the dustjacket!) Schultz and Tougias have written more the story of the war, and how to find the story. If you know nothing about King Philip's War, or want to get reacquainted with it, this should be the first text on your bookshelf. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book, and some were fulfilled.
It has some very interesting historical background of King Philip's War and good first hand accounts.
The detailed descriptions of the locales, however, were very long, sometimes overly so. And as someone who is not from New England, these passages grew tedious at times, and even nit-picky about some war-related minutiae.
However, the subject matter in general was interesting to me, and the writing was done well.
The book is really more designed for the professional archaeologist/historian than the casual history reader. But it does have a wealth of information on obscure 17th century New England. If you think you can slog through the denser parts, then I would recommend this book for those interested in American colonial history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be an excellent resource because it goes beyond providing battle details to providing the historical context of the war.
Few people have even heard of this war, and yet the causes of our Revolutionary War can be traced directly back to the outcome of King Philip's war, making this war very important to American history.
This war played a pivotal role in American history, though few people know about it.
When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, they immediately developed a friendly relationship with the Wampanoag Indians, who traded skins and furs for European manufactured goods.
Problems arose in the 1660s. There was a generational change, signaled by the death of the chief of the Wampanoag, who was replaced by his son, nicknamed King Philip by the colonists. And there was a financial crisis, caused by changes in style among European women, who no longer wanted to purchase skins and furs. One thing led to another, and an extremely violent and brutal war broke out in 1675.
The outcome of this war was that the colonists, who formerly were completely independent of the English Crown, now had to pay taxes to the Crown in return for the Crown's protection against future Indian attacks. The colonists accepted this arrangement because they thought they had to to survive, but by the 1760s they were no longer interested, leading to the Revolutionary War.
This book provides many of the context details that help the reader understand the importance of this war to the entire panorama of American history.
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By A Customer on February 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read the book. Then I read Mr. O'Keefe from Denver's review. The only thing I can think is that Mr. O'Keefe's edition was missing the first 80 pages. Those pages contain the best, most concise and "logical" history of the war available. After that the book becomes a travelogue (Mr. O'Keefe: a "collage") structured geographically that the Boston Globe raved about. All of the "detail" Mr. O'Keefe complained about allowed me to visit a half dozen of the sites that I would never have been able to find otherwise. If you want an unstructured collage beyond most amateur historians, read Lepore's book. If you want to understand King Philip's War, I would recommend this book (Schultz/Tougias) highly.
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Format: Paperback
Indians have been gone from Masachusetts for so long now that their mere presence has fallen out of the public imagination (everywhere except in Massachusetts I suppose). This book brings you back to a time long before the "cowboys and Indians" era when the American West was won. A time when there were still very few English settlers in America, and Indians lived all the way to the East Coast beaches.

King Philip's war was the first major conflict between English settlers in America and the native Indians -- just one generation after the Pilgrim's landed at Plymouth. This book claims the war set the tone for all future conflicts with the Indians, right through the settling of the West.

The book is organized into three sections: a general summary of the war, a long (and tedious) retelling of the war over and over and over again as regional conflicts, and excerpts from three eye-witness diaries.

If you live in the Northeast or are an avid history buff looking for every minor detail of the conflict, the middle of the book will fascinate you. But if you don't live there, the second section becomes very tedious. The authors are trying to give history buffs locations of every battle and skirmish. But unless you care to follow the Mapquest-like directions, the retellings are pointless. Here's a sample, "However, once away from the canal, Robbins picked up the chase along Bournedale Road to Head of Bay Road, into Wareham on Red Brook Road, passing along Route 6 to Elm Street." There are paragraphs full of that stuff!

If this book contained just the first and last secton, I would have given it 5 stars. Part I is a 71 page summary of the entire war. Part III contains short, heavily redacted excerpts from three eye-witness accounts of the war.
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