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The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

Summary: To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Sarah Vowell investigates what that means-and what it should mean. What she discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoebuckles- and-corn reputation might suggest-a highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty people, whose story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance.

Vowell takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, where “righteousness” is rhymed with “wilderness,” to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. Throughout, The Wordy Shipmates is rich in historical fact, humorous insight, and social commentary by one of America’s most celebrated voices.

Angie’s comments: This is a light history on the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Vowell explores the writings, the government, and the famous Puritans of the Colony. The history is interesting, but as I kept reading through the book, I started to find myself more and more distracted by Vowell’s personal voice. Still, I enjoyed the book and the brief foray into the history of the Puritans.

Recommended for readers of history and/or readers who like nonfiction with a large dose of the author as a character in the book.