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In this New York Times bestseller, the author of Assassination Vacation "brings the [Puritan] era wickedly to life" (Washington Post).

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.

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The Wordy Shipmates
Average rating
4 / 5
Engaging History
November 13th, 2014
I love Sarah Vowell's other books; she has a particularly engaging way of recounting the funny (and not so funny) aspects of history. The Wordy Shipmates may fall into the not-so-funny category, historically - Vowell returns to events like the Pequot war and the exile of important Puritans - she blends history with wit to make for enjoyable reading, as always. I found this book a bit dryer than her other work, but Vowell is probably the only author who can make me willingly read a whole book about Puritan America, so.
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