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On today’s episode, Ari spoke with the best-selling author and historian of English and American history Nick Bunker about the Mayflower Pilgrims and how the Hebrew intellectual and religious tradition shaped their world, and ultimately birthed the United States of America.


Along the way they talked about how Nick, a Roman Catholic from London, spent his most formative years immersed in the Jewish community of the Upper West Side of Manhattan; the importance of King James I; the rise of English interest in Biblical Hebrew; the origins of the Puritans; why the Pilgrims were fascinated by the medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides; Nick’s career in investment banking and how it molded his work as a historian; and much more!


Guest Quote

“And one of the things you have to do as a historian is to show that process by which the events in one country and the other country interacted with each other. Information flowed back and forth, people flowed back and forth. There was a transatlantic economy that was created which linked England, New England, Virginia, the West Indies. And it was through these kind of interflows back and forth that this kind of Atlantic world was created. And that was how the United States eventually came into being from this process of kind of interaction.” – Nick Bunker


Time Stamps

* (:01) Intro

* (04:49) Connection between American and English history

* (07:13) Nick’s journey

* (18:52) Significane of King James I 

* (21:39) Origins of the Puritans

* (24:42) Biblical book of kings influence on non-conformists

* (28:11) Decoding the Puritan Quadrilateral

* (32:07) The rise of English interest in Biblical Hebrew

* (36:19) Unmasking the original Thanksgiving

* (37:04) Maimonides and the Pilgrims

* (40:18) Judaic impact on history 

* (46:13) Jewish political and intellectual influence on England

* (51:08) Fueling curiosity amidst demanding careers

* (54:28) Sneak peek into Nick’s new book


Good Faith Effort is a production of SoulShop, Bnai Zion, and Caspian Studios



Follow Ari on Twitter 

Find out more about Nick 

In the Shadow of Fear: America and the World in 1950 

Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History 

An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America

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