We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Reviews of New World, Inc. by John Butman

New World, Inc.

The Making of America by England's Merchant Adventurers

by John Butman, Simon Targett

New World, Inc. by John Butman, Simon Targett X
New World, Inc. by John Butman, Simon Targett
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Mar 2018, 432 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rose Rankin
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Three generations of English merchant adventurers--not the Pilgrims, as we have so long believed--were the earliest founders of America. Profit-not piety-was their primary motive.

Some seventy years before the Mayflower sailed, a small group of English merchants formed "The Mysterie, Company, and Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and Places Unknown," the world's first joint-stock company. Back then, in the mid-sixteenth century, England was a small and relatively insignificant kingdom on the periphery of Europe, and it had begun to face a daunting array of social, commercial, and political problems. Struggling with a single export - woolen cloth - the merchants were forced to seek new markets and trading partners, especially as political discord followed the straitened circumstances in which so many English people found themselves.

At first they headed east, and dreamed of Cathay-China, with its silks and exotic luxuries. Eventually, they turned west, and so began a new chapter in world history. The work of reaching the New World required the very latest in navigational science as well as an extraordinary appetite for risk. As this absorbing account shows, innovation and risk-taking were at the heart of the settlement of America, as was the profit motive. Trade and business drove English interest in America, and determined what happened once their ships reached the New World.

The result of extensive archival work and a bold interpretation of the historical record, New World, Inc. draws a portrait of life in London, on the Atlantic, and across the New World that offers a fresh analysis of the founding of American history. In the tradition of the best works of history that make us reconsider the past and better understand the present, Butman and Targett examine the enterprising spirit that inspired European settlement of America and established a national culture of entrepreneurship and innovation that continues to this day.

The Prequel to the Pilgrims

On May 6, 1621, the Mayflower returned to England from the fledgling American colony of New Plymouth. In the eight months since the little ship left the English coast behind, the seventy investors that had bankrolled the voyage--mostly London merchants--had not received a scrap of news about the fate of their venture. Now, as the ship's master, Christopher Jones, eased the Mayflower into its dockage at Rotherhithe, an ancient landing place two miles down the Thames from London that had become a huddle of boatyards, sailors' cottages, and merchants' warehouses, the financial backers eagerly awaited news about the one thing they cared about most: what saleable cargo the ship had brought back from the New World. Perhaps it carried oak timbers for shipbuilding and barrel-making. Perhaps it contained cedar, which was much prized for the construction of exquisite dining-room furniture. Perhaps there might be great bundles of sassafras, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

When we think about the founding of America, we typically envision Pilgrims in black garb and boxy hats, sailing bravely to an untouched landscape where they could worship free from persecution. Yet as John Butman and Simon Targett show in New World, Inc., the Pilgrims were far from being trailblazing colonists. The authors bring to life forgotten and overlooked explorers and they demonstrate that profit, not religious freedom, acted as the driving force for colonization.

With a conversational tone the authors bring a much-needed perspective to the accepted mythology around America's founding. It may not line up with exactly what we were taught as schoolchildren, but it's a story about people seeking prosperity—American through and through...continued

Full Review (726 words)

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Rose Rankin).

Media Reviews

Library Journal
Starred Review. This engrossing history of adventure and innovation, disclosing the true motive for America's founding, will appeal to all readers.

Kirkus Reviews
A lively and illuminating revisionist history.

Publishers Weekly
Butman and Targett are fluent storytellers with an eye for detail.

Author Blurb Antoine Van Agtmael, author of The Smartest Places on Earth
New World Inc paints a fascinating portrait of personal daring and bold risk taking, of deceit and court intrigue, of murder, greed, loss of life, cunning, disappointment and unexpected success. It is a captivating read.

Author Blurb Bhu Srinivasan, author of Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
Skillfully told, this compelling book elevates the overlooked economic motivations behind the first American settlements to their proper place in history.

Author Blurb Bhu Srinivasan, author of Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
Skillfully told, this compelling book elevates the overlooked economic motivations behind the first American settlements to their proper place in history.

Author Blurb Larrie D. Ferreiro, author of Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It
Part business history, part swashbuckling adventurer's tale, New World Inc shows us that America was founded, not as an idealistic city upon a hill, but as the result of intense competition between well-funded companies looking to capitalize on the Next Big Thing ... A fascinating read.

Author Blurb Liaquat Ahamed, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Lords of Finance
Brilliantly researched and vividly told, New World Inc will give you a totally new perspective on the history of the founding of this country.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Elizabeth I and Royal Intrigues

Elizabeth I was a cautious but crucial supporter of the initial English voyages to the Americas, where merchants and explorers hoped to develop lucrative trade routes, as described in New World, Inc.

Queen Elizabeth was one of the most competent monarchs of the early modern period, and she led England through the transition from minor kingdom to world power. She is rightly regarded as one of England's finest rulers, but it didn't start out that way. In fact, her coronation seemed extremely unlikely when she was young.

Princess Elizabeth I The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she was removed from the succession shortly after her mother's execution. Henry's obsession with fathering a male heir eventually resulted in a son, and so Elizabeth's ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked New World, Inc., try these:

  • In Search of a Kingdom jacket

    In Search of a Kingdom

    by Laurence Bergreen

    Published 2022

    About this book

    More by this author

    In this grand and thrilling narrative, the acclaimed biographer of Magellan, Columbus, and Marco Polo brings alive the singular life and adventures of Sir Francis Drake, the pirate/explorer/admiral whose mastery of the seas during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I changed the course of history.

  • Barkskins jacket

    Barkskins

    by Annie Proulx

    Published 2017

    About this book

    More by this author

    From Annie Proulx - the Pulitzer Prize-­ and National Book Award - winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, comes her masterwork: an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about the taking down of the world's forests.

We have 7 read-alikes for New World, Inc., but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Ascent
    The Ascent
    by Adam Plantinga
    Adam Plantinga's brilliant debut novel, The Ascent, introduces readers to former Detroit police ...
  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

  • Book Jacket

    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray

    She took on titans, battled generals, and changed the world as we know it…

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.