The Wordy Shipmates

Sarah Vowell, Author . Riverhead $24.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-59448-999-0

Essayist and public radio regular Vowell (Assassination Vacation ) revisits America's Puritan roots in this witty exploration of the ways in which our country's present predicaments are inextricably tied to its past. In a style less colloquial than her previous books, Vowell traces the 1630 journey of several key English colonists and members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Foremost among these men was John Winthrop, who would become governor of Massachusetts. While the Puritans who had earlier sailed to Plymouth on the Mayflower were separatists, Winthrop's followers remained loyal to England, spurred on by Puritan Reverend John Cotton's proclamation that they were God's chosen people. Vowell underscores that the seemingly minute differences between the Plymouth Puritans and the Massachusetts Puritans were as meaningful as the current Sunni/Shia Muslim rift. Gracefully interspersing her history lesson with personal anecdotes, Vowell offers reflections that are both amusing (colonial history lesson via The Brady Bunch ) and tender (watching New Yorkers patiently waiting in line to donate blood after 9/11). (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/28/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4406-3869-5
Paperback - 254 pages - 978-1-59448-400-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-7819-6
Hardcover - 331 pages - 978-1-4104-1365-9
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4362-9059-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 272 pages - 978-1-4362-9060-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-7820-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0693-5
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