European history professor specializing in English history 1870-1939.
The Pequot Wars.
I like Sarah Vowell. The others were a nice touch, but they were not absolutely essential to the work.
Sarah Vowell's delivery is so much a part of the experience that this is one instance in which merely reading the book would have been a lesser experience than listening.
I think the narration left A LOT to be desired. Sarah Vowell may want to stick to writing and avoid narration. I found her voice hard to listen too.
I just think her book needed some re-thinking. Although the subject matter was of importance, I think the way it was presented in the book needed to be re-evaluated.
I found her voice very difficult to listen too for any length of time and additional voices a distraction.
I will not listen to a book that Sarah Vowell narrated again. I can't say the first book I downloaded of her has made me any kind of fan. I felt the money was not well spent at all on this one.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
There are books that are terrific in print as well as in Audio. But here it really makes a difference! You simply cannot experience Sarah Vowell without hearing her voice. This book I recommend just slightly second to "Assassination Vacation". Great history lesson, a slightly skewed view of the world, and lots of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed learning something!
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
Why is it the persecuted are so happy to become the persecutors?
Vowell tracks the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colonists - and specifically their leader John Winthrop - who left England under persecution of religious beliefs and set out to create "a city upon a hill" in what would eventually become the USA. It's interesting to hear how their vision continues to influence America today.
Winthrop was the author of "A Modell of Christian Charity," which can be seen as the epitome of hope and community of the persecuted. His humanity and fatherly kindness put a refreshing face to a group of people synonymous with scarlet letters and witch trials. At least initially. But it's particularly disturbing to see that optimism twisted as he becomes governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by banishing others with differing religious beliefs and condoning the Pequot War.
I'm fascinated by religion, and Vowell does a great job of making the Puritans feel human instead of one-dimensional zealot stereotypes. In addition to Winthrop, she paints intriguing pictures of Roger Williams, John Cotton, and Anne Hutchinson.
It's a thoughtful, fantastic, and pretty funny listen, despite some of the subject matter. If you've ever wondered what happened after that first Thanksgiving, this is a book worth listening to.
I have always loved Sarah Vowell's dry wit. Enjoying that while learning important and riveting history makes for the type of experience that makes for a very enjoyable audiobook.
I picked this book because I love Sarah Vowell's humor. It was certainly funny but I was surprised by how much I actually learned. The book is an in depth history lesson with a wry humorist as your professor. Loved it.
This was my first experience with Sara Vowell, so I was unsure of what I was getting into as she began her sqeaky, little-girl's voice narration. My first reaction was that the whole thing was going to be a slapstick sarcastic tirade about American historical events, and I was a bit wary. As the narrative evolved, however, I began to appreciate the depth of historical understanding Vowell possesses and portrays. While her voice continues to highlight (and thus comment upon) various historical incongruencies in America's past, its famous personalities' heroic hypocracies, and the horrific injustice thrust upon indigenous peoples under the banner of liberty and liberality, she manages to treat events of the distant past with a large degree of contextual fairness. Though I listened to this book over a month ago, many scenes and passages from it still weigh on my conscieousness and I feel I've come away better educated and wanting more.
While it is possible to eventually adjust to Vowell's unusual voice, the layering in of the many male voices making up her textual quotations really does not work. There is an uncomfortable pause and break in nearly every case, and the effect is that the whole performance sounds like a student readers' theater. I would vote for one skillful reader to replace all present readers for one serious and meaningful performance.
As a huge fan of Sarah Vowell's books Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, as well as her work on This American Life, I was expecting The Wordy Shipmates to include her normal snarky humor and quirky annecdotes. In this I was disappointed. I suppose I should have realized this going in, but there's not much that's funny about the Puritans, particularly when she quotes so extensively from their writings. This is definitely a good book and well-written, but for Sarah Vowell fans, just be aware that it is a relatively somber departure from her other work.