The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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New York Times bestselling author Sarah Vowell explores the Puritans and their journey to America in The Wordy Shipmates. Even today, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Vowell investigates what that means -- and what it should mean. What was this great political enterprise all about? Who were these people who are considered the philosophical, spiritual, and moral ancestors of our nation? The people she finds are highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty. Their story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance. Along the way she asks: - Was Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop a communitarian, a Christ-like Christian, or conformity's tyrannical enforcer? Answer: Yes! - Was Rhode Island's architect, Roger Williams, America's founding freak or the father of the First Amendment? Same difference. - What was the Puritans' pet name for the Pope? The Great Whore of Babylon. Sarah Vowell's special brand of armchair history makes the bizarre and esoteric fascinatingly relevant and fun. She takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. The Wordy Shipmates is rich in historical fact, humorous insight, and social commentary by one of America's most celebrated voices. Thou shalt enjoy it.
Publisher: [United States] : Simon & Schuster Audio : Made available through hoopla, 2008
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780743578202
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (420 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Vowell, Sarah
hoopla digital


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Apr 28, 2016

Just finished this one, and it was exceptional. Sarah Vowell makes history entertaining and fun. Listening to it on audiobook was perfect. I love her voice and inflections and the celebrity guest voices. And especially her biting wit. I did a more thorough review on my book blog. For that and other book reviews, check it out:

Oct 14, 2013

I really like Sarah Vowell and the history she writes about but I don't like the people in this part of our history. I wanted to reach back through history and smack some of them for being so unpleasant and forcing their moral code on everyone else.

Sep 23, 2010

A retelling of the story of the lesser known, but more successful, Pilgrim colony of Massachusetts Bay. We learn of people like Anne Hutchinson, John Winthrop, an d Roger Williams, all through the acerbic, ironic narrative of Sarah Vowell.

Vowell weaves together the remarkable story of the colonists that time has forgot. There is less of the overlaying of Sarah's own life withe the story, making the narrative poorer for it. The best one of these relates her nephew's argument with a stubborn Pilgrim recreation actor. This lack of Vowell's personality in the narrative makes this book weaker than her other works, but it is still worth picking up.

I listened to the audio book version of this work, so I was treated to Vowell's narration of her own work, which added a layer of humour to the work. There was also the bonus of the voice work of the ever brilliant Peter Dinklage. Listening to Vowell is really the only way to enjoy her work.


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