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The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving

What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History

by Robert Tracy McKenzie

"By looking at the Pilgrims afresh, they come alive to remind us 'how we mean to live and do not yet live.'"

—Mark Galli, Christianity Today

The First Thanksgiving: About the Book and Author

The First Thanksgiving: About the Book and Author

The Pilgrims' celebration of the first Thanksgiving is a keystone of America's national and spiritual identity. Veteran historian Tracy McKenzie helps us to better understand the tale of America's origins and grasp the significance of this story and those like it.

Q&A with Tracy McKenzie

Q&A with Tracy McKenzie

"The two most important things we have forgotten about the Pilgrims are also the two most elementary: how they understood Thanksgiving, and what they meant when they called themselves 'pilgrims.'"

Praise for The First Thanksgiving

Praise for The First Thanksgiving

"McKenzie's book is both an engaging account of New England's first Thanksgiving and an excellent introduction to how to think both critically and constructively about history. Read what author George Marsden and others are saying about The First Thanksgiving.

Why Studying

Why Studying "The First Thanksgiving" is Important: A Book Excerpt

More than with any other American holiday, we find in Thanksgiving the strands of national identity, religious heritage and historical memory, all inextricably interwoven.

Author Blog

Author Blog

Visit author Tracy McKenzie's blog, Faith and History, here.

Videos: McKenzie on Thanksgiving

Videos: McKenzie on Thanksgiving

Five short videos on five big ideas about our perspective on the early settlers, the first thanksgiving and the meaning of history.

Teacher's Guide

Teacher's Guide

Request a free digital download of The First Thanksgiving Teacher's Guide.

Book Roundtable: Continue the Conversation with our Bloggers

A Remarkable Book

A Remarkable Book

Thomas Kidd

I cannot recall ever reading a book quite like The First Thanksgiving. It is an entertaining retelling of a seminal moment in American history -- and a remarkable reflection on how Christians should handle history in general.

How We Study History

How We Study History

James McGrath

I highly recommend this book to any Christians interested in history – and perhaps even more so, to those Christians who are not interested in history except as a place to turn for ammunition in the latest culture wars.

Christian Reflection on the First Thanksgiving

Christian Reflection on the First Thanksgiving

Suzanne Ross

By doing history with Christian sensibility McKenzie means that we relax our grasp on the truth and approach the past with a spirit of humility and charity.

Pondering Providence

Pondering Providence

Bruce Epperly

Beyond the cultural myths, McKenzie’s First Thanksgiving roots the pilgrim’s perseverance in their trust in God’s covenantal relationship with them and all creation.

Flipping the Bird:

Flipping the Bird:

David Swartz

Thanks, professor, for ruining our national celebration of gluttony, liberty, and free enterprise.

An Unvarnished Look at the First Days of America

An Unvarnished Look at the First Days of America

David Swartz

The pilgrims' insistence on living a faith that could breathe freely no matter the cost or where it took them has much to teach us.

A Great Christmas Gift

A Great Christmas Gift

Chris Henrichsen

While McKenzie utilizes serious historical methodology in this book, the book is primarily a devotional Christian book.

Why You Should Celebrate this Thanksgiving

Why You Should Celebrate this Thanksgiving

Adam Ericksen

Celebrate the fact that we are beginning to tell our history in an honest and inclusive way, because only by telling an honest and inclusive history can we have an honest and inclusive present.

Join the Roundtable Discussion!

Join the Roundtable Discussion!

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Selected entries may receive a free copy of one of our future book club books!

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