Sarah Vowell
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Amazon's review says, "The Marquis de Lafayette, a.k.a. one of George Washington's best buds, is the subject of Sarah Vowell's latest offering. Why would a young French aristocrat venture to our shores to join Washington's army and fight in the Revolutionary War? He came for the glory! He came because he believed in American ideals! But, mainly it was for the Enlightenment ideas that were unevenly embraced by many of his fellow comrades—ideas that impacted the war. Anyone familiar with Vowell’s oeuvre knows what a knack she has for making the (seemingly) mundane fascinating. She also draws some oddly comforting parallels between that time and our own (turns out that politicians have been butting heads and acting like idiots, since the birth of our great nation)."

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The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates

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From the publisher: "From the author of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, , New York Times best-selling author Sarah Vowell's exploration of the Puritans and their journey to America to become the people of John Winthrop's "city upon a hill" - a shining example, a "city that cannot be hid." To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Vowell investigates what that means - and what it should mean. What was this great political enterprise all about? 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. Sarah Vowell's special brand of armchair history makes the bizarre and esoteric fascinatingly relevant and fun. She takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, where "righteousness" is rhymed with "wilderness," to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. Thou shalt enjoy it."

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