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The Wordy Shipmates

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ISBN13: 9781594484001
ISBN10: 1594484007
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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)." Publishers Weekly Starred Review (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.)

Review:

"Fans will be pleased to see that Vowell's admittedly smart-alecky style is alive and well.... At times dense, at times silly, at times surpassingly wise." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Most writing on the Puritans is as dour as the Puritans themselves. Vowell has fun with them, and in the process, she helps us take seriously both their lives and their legacy." Washington Post

Review:

"A book dense with detail, insight, and humor." Booklist

Review:

"[Vowell's] a complex blend: part brilliant essayist, part pop-culture-loving comedian and a full-time unabashed history geek. The mixture makes her both proudly pointy-headed and forever entertaining." Seattle Times

Review:

"Sarah Vowell lends her engaging voice and keen powers of observation to a work of social history....Provid[ing] a glimpse of what life was really like for the people of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the founders of Plymouth." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Vowell's words crackle on the printed page...smart, quirky and unabashedly incendiary...Vowell is very funny. She is generous as she wrestles with the moral intricacies of our nation's beginnings and how Puritan contradictions inform our sense of American exceptionalism today...The Wordy Shipmates is more than a punk-ish twist on our brave, verbose, tortured forebears, living in their new colony like 'an ashram in the woods.'" Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"For those of us who'd rather harvest our history lessons from The Simpsons than the History Channel, Vowell is a latter-day hero....Fascinating." Elle

Review:

"Vowell...reads history with attitude, humor and sensitivity." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Review:

"[Vowell exercises] her trademark sweet, silly, arch sense of the incongruous ways we memorialize the American past." Chicago Tribune

Synopsis:

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot comes an examination of the Puritans, their covenant communities, deep-rooted idealism, political and cultural relevance, and their myriad oddities.

About the Author

Hip, irreverent, and with a voice that NPR fans of This American Life instantly perk up to, Sarah Vowell makes both readers and listeners laugh out loud with her wry, comic observations on everything from politics to pop culture. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

lwiccan, November 25, 2012 (view all comments by lwiccan)
Sarah Vowell has an uncanny ability to bring history alive,and make it fun and interesting. Being a natural storyteller shows up in her writing and she is able to dissect historical facts and integrate them well by providing the very anecdotes that in my estimation characterize the events in a way that makes them memorable and relevant. In this case, she sheds light on some of the founding settlers and their stumbling upon what they wish to develop in the "New World." They find themselves bumping into some of the same obstacles that they encountered in England, and from which they had fled. Fascinating.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
LMP, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by LMP)
The breeziest historical piece ever . . .
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Chris Engebo, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by Chris Engebo)
I'm usually more of a math/science guy, but Vowell's books are always really fun to read, and I always learn history at the same time. She makes me think.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594484001
Author:
Vowell, Sarah
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - New England
Subject:
Puritans -- New England -- History.
Subject:
New England Politics and government.
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.20x5.50x.69 in. .55 lbs.
Age Level:
18-17

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Related Subjects


Biography » Historical
Featured Titles » Foreign Language and Travel
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sale Books
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Wordy Shipmates Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594484001 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)." Publishers Weekly Starred Review (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.)
"Review" by , "Fans will be pleased to see that Vowell's admittedly smart-alecky style is alive and well.... At times dense, at times silly, at times surpassingly wise."
"Review" by , "Most writing on the Puritans is as dour as the Puritans themselves. Vowell has fun with them, and in the process, she helps us take seriously both their lives and their legacy."
"Review" by , "A book dense with detail, insight, and humor."
"Review" by , "[Vowell's] a complex blend: part brilliant essayist, part pop-culture-loving comedian and a full-time unabashed history geek. The mixture makes her both proudly pointy-headed and forever entertaining."
"Review" by , "Sarah Vowell lends her engaging voice and keen powers of observation to a work of social history....Provid[ing] a glimpse of what life was really like for the people of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the founders of Plymouth."
"Review" by , "Vowell's words crackle on the printed page...smart, quirky and unabashedly incendiary...Vowell is very funny. She is generous as she wrestles with the moral intricacies of our nation's beginnings and how Puritan contradictions inform our sense of American exceptionalism today...The Wordy Shipmates is more than a punk-ish twist on our brave, verbose, tortured forebears, living in their new colony like 'an ashram in the woods.'"
"Review" by , "For those of us who'd rather harvest our history lessons from The Simpsons than the History Channel, Vowell is a latter-day hero....Fascinating."
"Review" by , "Vowell...reads history with attitude, humor and sensitivity."
"Review" by , "[Vowell exercises] her trademark sweet, silly, arch sense of the incongruous ways we memorialize the American past."
"Synopsis" by , From the New York Times-bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot comes an examination of the Puritans, their covenant communities, deep-rooted idealism, political and cultural relevance, and their myriad oddities.
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