The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates is Sarah Vowell's history of Boston's founding by the Puritans, led by the idealistic and tyrannical John Winthrop.  Other important historical figures make an appearance, including Roger Williams, Oliver Cromwell, and Anne Hutchinson.  Vowell follows Winthrop closely, quoting his letters and journals as he attempts to bring to fruition his biblical vision of the 'city upon a hill.'

“Dig deep into its communitarian ethos and it reads more like an America that might have been, an America fervently devoted to the quaint goals of working together and getting along.  Of course, this America does exist.  It's called Canada.”  

Sarah Vowell is the author of various history books, including Unfamiliar Fishes and Assassination Vacation.  She was a contributing editor to Public Radio International’s This American Life from 1996-2008, and also starred in the movie The Incredibles.

Published:  2008
Length:  272 pages
Set in:  Massachusetts, United States