"Bradford's history is a story of a simple people inspired by an ardent faith to a dauntless courage in danger, a resourcefulness in dealing with new problems, an impregnable fortitude in adversity that exalts and heartens one in an age of uncertainty, when courage falters and faith grows dim. It is this story, told by a great human being, that has made the Pilgrim Fathers in a sense the spiritual ancestors of all Americans, all pioneers." Thus Samuel Eliot Morison, the pre-eminent American historian in this field, in his Preface to this great American classic.
For the first time the printed text of Bradford's history has been compared word for word with the original manuscript; for the first time the difficult abbreviations and contractions used by Bradford have been filled out and his archaic and variant spellings made uniform. This edition has double value: it presents Governor Bradford's text in readable form and it provides contemporary readers with a history of that text and its enduring significance by the historian clearly elect to interpret it.