HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Wordy Shipmates (2008)

by Sarah Vowell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6691484,460 (3.66)256
To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but author 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? What Vowell discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoe-buckles-and-corn reputation might suggest. 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.--From publisher description.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 256 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
Meh. Politics and wars.

I like how her books are like talking to a fellow amateur history nerd, but politics and wars bore me. ( )
  AlainaZ | Jun 5, 2022 |
Not as witty as her other books, but still informative. It's another reminder that people have been crazy since the dawn of time. Especially in politics. ( )
  ms_rowse | Jan 1, 2022 |
Surprisingly interesting considering the subject matter. And quite relevant to the current state of affairs in America, a fact that is both enlightening and infuriating. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
Vowell always gets me interested in bits of history I've never considered. The Wordy Shipmates is no exception. It's a look at the early Puritans and the founding of Massachusetts (as well as Connecticut and Rhode Island, but Mass. is the focus). I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as I've enjoyed some of her other ones. I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe it's because the petty squabbling of the colonists is occasionally mind-numbingly dull, even in the hands of a talented writer like Vowell. On the other hand, I copied down some fantastic quotes from the pens of our English ancestors that I'll have to post here on GoodReads. There are some beautiful words in this book, and only some of them are Vowell's. The Puritans were indeed wordy, and a few had a gift for language that still resonates today, even with a godless heathen like myself. Thank you, Ms. Vowell, for the education. ( )
  SwitchKnitter | Dec 19, 2021 |
SV has my number with her sassy yet well-informed and sincere schtick. At times I wished she had gone whole hog and made it a more serious book. I joined her in being wrapped up in the story of these divisive proponents of brotherly love and I got tired of waiting for the punch line. I had to skim the Pequot war section for my own mental health. A good exercise in trying to imagine the history of European settlement in our country. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
Maybe there's something to be said for learning about the pilgrims, after all—especially from an instructor as entertaining as Vowell.
added by sduff222 | editBitch Magazine, Kelsey Wallace (Mar 28, 2011)
 
As always with Vowell, her commentary is apt and frequently, startlingly
insightful. I would suggest that this book might well be used as
a sort of introductory text to the ideas of the Puritans particularly for
undergraduates. Because she engages so cleverly with popular culture,
it may help provide a successful approach to the dense and highly
intellectualized writing of this group of Puritans. For the nonspecialist
in this period, the book could serve as a reminder of what continues to
be so fascinating about the ideas of the New England Puritans of the
seventeenth century and the impact their thought continues to have in
popular discourse.
added by sduff222 | editReviews in Religion and Theology, Mary Coleman (Sep 1, 2009)
 
Sarah Vowell is a problem. She’s a problem like Sarah Palin, Cyndi Lauper and Kathy Griffin. She’s annoying. Or, really, she’s double-annoying, because she styles herself as annoying — provocative-annoying — and if you become annoyed by her you seem to be conceding the point. She’s gotten to you.

Take “The Wordy Shipmates,” her fifth book. Vowell has integrated her sarcasm, flat indie-girl affect and kitsch worship — refined in print and on public radio — into a pop history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Known for her adenoid-helium voice, Vowell is a genial talker but an undisciplined writer. This new book mixes jiggers of various weak liquors — paraphrase, topical one-liners, blogger tics — and ends up tasting kind of festive but bad, like Long Island iced tea.
 
Drawing on letters, essays, and sermons, Vowell offers a penetrating look at the tensions between John Winthrop, John Cotton, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and others as they argued about the role of religion in government and everyday life. They saw themselves as God's chosen people, a credo that set the tone for American history and notions of manifest destiny that have led to all manner of imposition on other lands and cultures. But they also vehemently debated separation of church and state and founded Harvard, even as they pondered the destiny of what Winthrop referred to as the "shining city on the hill "A book dense with detail, insight, and humor.
added by sduff222 | editBooklist, Vanessa Bush (Oct 1, 2008)
 
At times dense, at times silly, at times surpassingly wise.
added by sduff222 | editKirkus Reviews (Aug 1, 2008)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Vowellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dzama, MarcelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laroche, NicoleDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levinthal, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seow, JackieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, Jeffrey L.Map artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight. . . Delight is to him whose strong arms yet support him, when the ship of this base treacherous world has gone down beneath him. Delight is to him, who gives no quarter in the truth, and kills, burns, and destroys all sin though he pluck it out from under the robes of Senators and Judges. Delight, —top-gallant delight is to him, who acknowledges no law or lord, but the Lord his God, and is only a patriot to heaven.

—Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Dedication
For Scott Seeley, Ted Thompson, and Joan Kim
First words
The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief. And by dangerous I don't mean thought-provoking. I mean: might get people killed.
Quotations
I'm always disappointed when I see the word "Puritan" tossed around as shorthand for a bunch of generic, boring, stupid, judgmental killjoys. Because to me, they are very specific, fascinating, sometimes brilliant, judgmental killjoys who rarely agreed on anything except that Catholics are going to hell.
Behind every bad law, a deep fear.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but author 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? What Vowell discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoe-buckles-and-corn reputation might suggest. 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.--From publisher description.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.66)
0.5 1
1 15
1.5 4
2 50
2.5 16
3 172
3.5 70
4 304
4.5 19
5 118

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 173,665,652 books! | Top bar: Always visible