The Wordy Shipmates (Paperback)
November 2008 Indie Next List
“As always, Vowell is darkly hilarious and freshly informative. She pokes fun at the buckle-shoed Puritans who first settled here, but she also tells a story of how their quirks, foibles, and love of words formed our country's personality. Her distinct and sharply witty voice makes this book an edifying delight.”
— Laura Delaney, The Rediscovered Bookshop, Boise, ID
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.
About the Author
Called "a national treasure" by David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell has been a contributing editor to public radio's "This American Life" since 1996. She is also the author of the bestsellers "Take the Cannoli" and "The Partly Cloudy Patriot".