This year I let the Cannonball be my excuse to spend more time with Sarah Vowell. I have on my bookshelf several of her books (Radio On, Assassination Vacation) but there were several books I had yet to tackle. The Wordy Shipmates was one, and one that I continually confused with another Vowell book The Partly Cloudy Patriot. I re-read The Partly Cloudy Patriot for CBR4 because I forgot that I had already read it. In my defense it had been years. Now I’m happy to report that The Wordy Shipmates lives up to the other Vowell books I have had occasion to read.
In The Wordy Shipmates Vowell digs deep into th history of the Puritans who arrived in what would become Boston under the leadership of John Winthrop. This is a book following the exploits of a community and leader who would fight the Pequot War, banish Roger Williams and Anne Hutchison, and get into a battle about where our fascination with ‘the city on the hill’ really comes from and just how Puritan much of popular American culture remains.
For more of this review please visit my blog.