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Marooned : Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America's Origin - Joseph Kelly


Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America's Origin

Hardcover Published: 1st November 2018
ISBN: 9781632867773
Number Of Pages: 512

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For readers of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower, a revolutionary argument for replacing Plymouth Rock with Jamestown as America's founding myth.

In school, students are taught two origin stories for Colonial America. The first is the story of the pilgrims: hardworking, devoted, religious people who made a colony and thrived. The second is that of Jamestown, where lazy louts committed treasonous acts and nearly starved to death before they were rescued by food supplies and martial law from England.

But both of these interpretations come from English sources: they were written up by the very governors and lords the American people threw off roughly 150 years later. In Marooned, Joseph Kelly reexamines the events of Jamestown and comes to a radically different and decidedly American interpretation of these first Virginians.

In this gripping account of shipwrecks and mutiny and America's earliest settlements, Kelly argues that the colonists at Jamestown were literally and figuratively marooned, cut loose from civilization, and cast into a state of nature. In Jamestown, the British caste system meant little: those who wanted to survive needed to work and fight and intermingle with the nearby native populations. The desperation of the colony meant that for the first time, centuries before Locke or Jefferson penned the words, all men were equal, and the colonists themselves began to insist on being their own masters and choosing their own fates.

Industry Reviews

[A] stimulating history of Jamestown . . . a superb portrait of the founding, combining brilliant detail with epic sweep. * Starred review, Publishers Weekly *
An insightful re-examination of the 1607 Jamestown settlement . . . Kelly's lively, heavily researched, frequently gruesome account gives a slight nod to Jamestown as the 'better place to look for the genesis of American ideals.' * Starred review, Kirkus Reviews *
The U.S. loves its creation myths, and this mythmaking, myth-breaking history gives us a new character, Stephen Hopkins... Though Hopkins and those like him left few records, Kelly fleshes out the available glimpses with a vivid, detailed description of the settlement and its English and Native American contexts...Kelly's dynamic narrative brings Jamestown to life and shows how history reflects the present as well as the past. * Sara Jorgensen, Booklist *
Joseph Kelley's Marooned is a tale of intrigue, betrayal, and redemption from American's colonial past. It is also a moving reimagining of the American story. Kelley's history of Jamestown shows that America is a community born of marooned colonists, escaped slaves, and native inhabitants thrown together by an accident of history, and that the creed of liberty inscribed in the nation's founding is not a foreign importation, but the unique inheritance of this potent brew. * William Egginton, author of THE SPLINTERING OF THE AMERICAN MIND *
Joseph Kelly's Marooned re-tells the early American story with salutary attention to Native Americans, non-elite English settlers, and the dramas of shipwreck, maroonage, and self-determination. Familiar figures such as John Smith and Pocahontas get reinvented in the bloody story of Jamestown's struggle against famine and incompetent leadership. Most excitingly, he offers new figures for the first English Americans, especially the rebellious commoner Stephen Hopkins, who lived, labored, and sometimes resisted authority in Bermuda, Jamestown, and eventually Plymouth Rock. Hopkins's desire for liberty and struggle against aristocratic despotism make the marooned commoner a powerful figure for what was newly American about the early English experience of the New World. * Steve Mentz, author of SHIPWRECK MODERNITY: ECOLOGIES OF GLOBALIZATION 1550-1719 *
Original and illuminating . . . This thoughtful and rewarding study should be taken seriously by scholars and enjoyed by general readers. It is an essential contribution to American history. * Orville Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Lincoln on AMERICA'S LONGEST SIEGE *
An important contribution to Southern antebellum history . . . Highly recommended. * Starred Review, Library Journal on AMERICA'S LONGEST SIEGE *
A tenacious chronicle of the pernicious construction of South Carolina's slave-driven political orthodoxy. * Kirkus Reviews on AMERICA'S LONGEST SIEGE *

ISBN: 9781632867773
ISBN-10: 163286777X
Audience: BAU
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 1st November 2018
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.7  x 4.3
Weight (kg): 0.88

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