Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Sarah Vowell. There's no other way to put it. This book is a perfect blend of historical essay and pop culture lit. Vowell's take on the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony and Governor John Winthrop shows the "shining city on the hill" ideal as the Puritans saw it; which is not quite the way that Ronald Reagan meant it when he co-opted the phrase in the 1980's. Vowell is one of the few authors in the world today who can tie the two visions together and show how the people we are today can relate to the group of folks who left England in 1630 to start anew.

This book I recommend to just about everybody who wants to understand modern day America and the history of the Massachusetts colony. 5, nay 6, stars (out of 5).

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Hamilcar Barca said...

Vowell sounds like a writer i'd enjoy. Wikipedia has a nice article about her. i think i'll look for this one at the bookstore this weekend.

Steven R. Harbin aka coachhollywood67 said...

I saw her in an interview on TV, and thought "this sounds like someone I'd like to talk with or read" - so I went out and bought the book. If you are someone who can appreciate American history and humorous references to modern pop culture, then you'll appreciate SV. Email me at and let me know if you're interested in the book. I don't mind mailing you my copy if you want it.

Hamilcar Barca said...

i appreciate the offer! when i went to my local library last Saturday, i discovered they have several of Ms. Vowell's books, including The Wordy Shipmates. which others of her books have you read and how do they compare?

Steven R. Harbin aka coachhollywood67 said...

The only other book I've read (started actually) is "Assassination Vacation" which I also recommend so far. I'm planning on checking out her other books in the near future, but I think "The Wordy Shipmates" or AV are both good places to start.
I saw her in an interview a while back where I was really impressed, I'll see if I can find a link to it online and send it if I can.

Hamilcar Barca said...

got it at last! it was stocked at another branch of my library and had to be sent over to the main branch. look for a review in about two weeks.