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The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony [Paperback]

By James Deetz (Author) & Patricia Scott Deetz (Author)
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Item description for The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony by James Deetz & Patricia Scott Deetz...

James Deetz, who until his death was a leading expert on the archaeology of Plymouth Colony, and his wife, cultural historian Patricia Scott Deetz, give a realistic and fascinating picture of life in colonial America as they recount, in colorful detail, the true story of Plymouth Colony.

The Pilgrims were not the somber, dark-clad historical figures children learn about in school. Nor were they nearly as pious as we've been led to believe: they wore brightly colored clothing, drank heavily, had adulterous affairs, and committed both petty and serious crimes against their neighbors. Using court transcripts, wills, probate listings, rare first-hand accounts, and archeological finds, the Deetzes delve into everyday life in Plymouth Colony, accurately recasting one of the most cherished chapters of American history.
"[A] fascinating and delightful?revisionist history of our Pilgrim forebears."
--The Providence Journal

"The Deetzes have knocked the dust off these Thanksgiving pageant characters and given them new life."
--The San Diego Union-Tribune

"A hard-headed description...based on the evidence, of life in the Plymouth Colony."
--The New York Times

James Deetz died in November 2000. Patricia Scott Deetz is a cultural historian with an M.A. in history from Rhodes University, South Africa. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony by James Deetz & Patricia Scott Deetz has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2001 page 60

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Anchor
Pages   367
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.98" Width: 5.22" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 16, 2001
Publisher   Anchor
ISBN  0385721536  
ISBN13  9780385721530  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Deetz & Patricia Scott Deetz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Deetz, Ph.D., was the Harrison Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Virginia. One of the founders of modern historical archaeology in America, Deetz's work has profoundly affected the fields of anthropology, history, and folklore. For decades he led research on Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, revolutionizing our understanding of the way people lived in colonial America. His books include Invitation to Archaeology, In Small Things Forgotten, and Flowerdew Hundred. He died in 2000.
Patricia Scott Deetz is a cultural historian with an M.A. in history from Rhodes University, South Africa. She worked with her husband as a researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

James Deetz currently resides in Charlottesville, in the state of Virginia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Colonial Period > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > Massachusetts

Reviews - What do customers think about The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony?

Good Work, But They Should've Done Even Better  Jan 22, 2007
This book is a thorough piece of work - facts, dry text, colorful insights, dull academia, interesting human elements. It is a strange piece to review, as now that I have finished reading the book, I look back and can actually consider it to be a number of smaller works all contained within the save cover. With that in mind, I will comment on the "sections" individually as well as the work as a whole.

Archaeology: interesting subject matter for sure, the reader may well find themselves irresistibly drawn in to the discussions on the various referenced sites. However, the author in his/her attempt at describing orientations of items/foundations, etc., does a poor job. In many instances, a simple keyed diagram would have much more applicable and practical than long-winded and convoluted textual descriptions.

Lifestyles: flowing, page-turning descriptions of the subject matter at hand, be it the belief in the existence of witches, the settlement of estates, or the rules regarding fornication. Well done!

References to other work: must say that I was a bit disappointed with the occasional complete dependence on Demos' A Little Commonwealth.

Self-promotion: constant references by the authors to themselves in the 3rd person became annoying, carrying with it an unmistakable air of arrogance. And the disjointed and gratuitous "Postscript" written at the end of Chapter 6 by Patricia Scott Deetz that rambles on about her husband/co-author's many accomplishments was unnecessary and totally out of place.

Overall: A strange conglomeration of creative writing and storytelling ala Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick and drier Demos-style reliance and regurgitation of old probate records. In the end, I am happy to have read this work, and the experience was enjoyable overall. I can't help but feel, however, that the authors have sold themselves short and not fully-harnessed their collective knowledge of and love for the Plymouth Colony history.
really good  Nov 28, 2003
You get the feeling Deetz is a bit of an ass, true, but the book speaks for itself; it's sensational. He gets right to the heart of the matter in the first pages: the truth about Thanksgiving is nothing like the perception. He brings the truth out of a morass of lies. Even in this time of greater accuracy in history-telling, Deetz's book stands out as a particularly honest approach. Yes, English people were responsible for the annihilation of the native population; that much even Jerry Falwell would acknowledge. But the fact that we cover it up and celebrate it with Thanksgiving is the sad part.
There was a lot more happening in the 1620s than historians have allowed us to see.
The Pilgrims through History, Myth and Archeology  Feb 14, 2002
James Deetz and Patricia Scott Deetz's The Times of Their Lives (Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony) looks at the somewhat misnamed Pilgrims, including much recent archeological scholarship along with the usual documentary evidence upon which most historians exclusively rely. They show a great respect for the nineteenth century created myths surrounding the pilgrims while at the same time deconstructing them to present as realistic picture of this time as current research will allow. Along the way, they touch upon crime, sex, marriage, material culture, and food to give a full picture of the lives lived in Plymouth Colony, both British and Indian. The authors manage to make all of the archeological information quite palatable to the average reader. A nice read.
Essential Deetz  Nov 5, 2001
An absolutely wonderful, detail-filled account of early colonial America by one of the greatest archaeologists of our time. He will be missed.
Shatter the Stereotype  Jun 3, 2001
In this interesting book, Deetz and Deetz develop a realistic picture of the original settlers of Plymouth Plantation. Basically, these settlers were not our Thanksgiving stereotype of devout religious dissenters, grim and disciplined, who wore shoes with big square buckles. Instead, these settlers were much more diverse, and were a mixture of religious separatists (the minority) and secular types in search of land and prosperity. Of particular interest to me was the authors' discussion of crime in Plymouth. One warning: The book has passages that suffer from political correctness. This reader found them distracting.

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