2011: 17. The Wordy Shipmates

“The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief.”

The Wordy Shipmates, Sarah Vowell

       Oh, I loved this book.  It so fundamentally strange - well, its strange that someone paid Vowell money to write this eggheady (but not academic) long form essay about the Puritans, and who they were and how they shaped our country.  But, I guess it’s not really that strange, because it’s so good and interesting and thought provoking, who wouldn’t want to pay her to write it?  

       I’d read Vowell’s Assassination Vacation, but maybe because I am more interested in the topic, it didn’t seem so bizarre to me (though a book about places related to Presidential assassinations is sort of bizarre, I guess).  Anyway, the book is great - it’s funny, and informative, but also heartfelt - she is so engaged in the topic - mad when the Puritans are horrible (and lord, could they be horrible - especially to dissenter and Indians), moved when they are brave, and really serious about taking on their ideas.  I’m making this sound dull - it’s not.  It’s a window into a part of American history I knew little about and I recommend it to anyone interested in why we are the way we are.  Plus, it’s classic Vowell - well written, wry, sharp.  Great stuff. 

Catergories:  Non-Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017