This carefully researched and insightful account by Sibert medalist Marc Aronson focuses on the intertwined lives of John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Puritan Commonwealth in England. Set against a broad canvas of the turmoil that engulfed Britain in the 17th century, the book examines the clashes of the monarchy and the church with Parliament, which led these two powerful men to take opposite courses. Here is a panoramic view of the period, from elaborate masques to the trial of a heretic, from wars fought against Indians to dramatic battles led by cavalry, from the toppling of a king to the search for the ideal society. Packed with literary allusions, vivid descriptions of significant events, and a cast of memorable figures, this sweeping account picks up where the highly acclaimed Sir Walter Ralegh leaves off, providing another riveting look at British and early American history. Cast of characters, maps, endnotes and bibliography, Internet resources, timeline, index.