Sherry's Reviews > The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 10 to 11, 2011

I first heard of this book when the author was on Jon Stewart. I remember the author well. She was articulate, smart, and had a great sense of humor. I had the book on my "to read" list but figured I'd probably never get around to reading it. That is, until I saw it in the library.

I read this book in a day. It had some hilarious quips in it, and Vowell's treatment of America's Puritan history -- Massachusetts Bay Colony in particular -- made something that would normally be very dull, very interesting. I found myself moved by the language of a people seeking to found a just, equitable, and free nation (despite their many failures). But that's the great thing about America! We've got a great idea; we just need to keep working at it until those lofty words the first settlers wrote are a reality.

This book inspired me to go out and read some more about some figures that leapt out at me, like Roger Williams, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson (although the last two are mentioned only in comparison in a few places).

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in America's early history (the very first colonizations), and any American. It is a quick read and very funny.

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