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June 10, 2021 45 min

Plymouth Plantation occupies a powerful place in American national memory. Think of the First Thanksgiving in 1621; Englishmen escaping religious persecution; the rock marking the alleged spot where settlers first landed; and of course the Mayflower Compact.

In the wake of the American Revolution, citizens of the new nation looked to the Compact for the origins of American Democracy. In Plymouth’s history, many Americans saw the history of the United States itself.

But Plymouth has become shrouded in memory. We often see it as an isolated outpost of religious dissenters who made a pilgrimage into the American wilderness, when in reality it was so much more.

On today’s episode, Dr. Carla Gardina Pestana takes us back to those distant, frigid shores for a new look at an old place.

She is the author of The World of Plymouth Plantation, published by Belknap Press in 2002, and as you’ll hear, Plymouth was a much bigger world than you might imagine.


About Our Guest:

Carla Gardina Pestana, Ph.D. is Professor and Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World at the University of California, Los Angeles. The author of numerous books and articles, Pestana studies the 17th and 18th century Atlantic worlds, especially the English Atlantic; the Caribbean; and U.S. religious history.

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