Joint runner-up for the 2008 Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award. This book uncovers what might seem to be a dark side of the American dream: the New World from the viewpoint of those who decided not to stay. At the core of the volume are the life-histories of people who left New England during the British Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1640-1660. More than a third of the ministers who had stirred up emigration from England deserted their flocks to return home. The colonists’ stories challenge our perceptions of early settlement and the religious ideal of New England as a ‘City on a Hill’. America was a stage in their journey, not an end in itself.