As Jacobs warns, ""so completely did he (Bradford) merge his life with that of the Pilgrim community that it is hard to separate the story of the man. . . from that of his people."" No attempt at such a separation is made here, and our judgment of the self-made, self-educated orphan who became the colony's governor and chronicler can only reflect that of the Pilgrims who respected his steadiness and probity. Bradford's finest and most revealing hour was his decision to break the Pilgrims' contract with their Merchant Adventurer sponsors and return to a system of private property -- a change which was followed by his renunciation of his private land grants, a personal sacrifice which strengthened the community. Largely however, Jacobs' biography is notable for his freshened respect for Pilgrim virtues -- community spirit, toughness, and a tolerance that is often overlooked by those who confuse the Plymouth with the dourer Massachusetts Bay Colony. Little new interpretation or background, but a discerning confirmation.