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The Wordy Shipmates Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 7, 2008
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"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't misunderstand me; this isn't at all a bad book. In fact, it's fascinating. It is jam-packed with fascinating information about the Massachusetts Puritans and the religious, social, and historical context of their settlement. Vowell weaves comments about her family background, education, travels, and hopes and fears into the narrative, just as she usually does.
When Vowell's writing works best, it's driven by her quirkiness and her ability to veer off on what seems to be a tangent, then bring everything together in the end. She does that here, but just not as well as in her other books. Perhaps the subject just isn't as susceptible to the Vowell treatment as the subjects of her other books.
I actually enjoyed this book, and I recommend it highly. However, it's just not as good as her other books made me expect it to be. Well worth reading, though.
Alas, I chose to give this book 3 of 5 stars. I figure that the best way to explain is to go through a list of pros and cons.
Vowell's book on the Pilgrims is obviously a very personal one, and her enthusiasm and passion for the subject shows very well. She recounts not only the tortuous adventure the Pilgrims took from Britian to America and their struggle to build a city, but also tours she has been on, journals she has pored through, and what the Pilgrims mean to her.
The Wordy Shipmates works best - works quite well - when it is read as a collection of themed essays, rather than a flowing book. Once I began to read it in this way, I was better able to admire Vowell's frequent and lengthy asides (where an essay on x quickly becomes an essay on y). Each essay explores some facet about the Pilgrims - their religiosity, their caring nature, their admiration of hard work - but each essay stands on its own more than connects with other essays.
As something of a collection of essays, Vowell can be (quite) redundant.Read more ›
We elected Bush? That's Anne Hutchinson's fault. And not just because Bush is a descendant of hers either. Had it not been for Anne's ideas, most American Protestants would not now believe in "immediate personal revelation" (p. 209)--the idea (radical at the time) that individuals have a personal relationship with God and that, as a result, only the individual is responsible for his or her own salvation. In other words, had it not been for Anne, there would have been no born-again Christians and, hence, no George Bush.
Our (often disastrous) interventions around the world? Blame Winthrop of "City on a Hill" fame. Had he not drummed into us that we're a city on a hill, a model to the world, we might be less eager to spread our model from one corner of the globe to the next. And, in any event, we might not have had Ronald Reagan as president. (I suspect Sarah Vowell might be a Democrat by the way.)
The Indian massacres? That too is the Puritans' fault. But here Sarah Vowell does not have to rely on genealogy or one man or woman's belief system to prove her point. The Puritans, after all, massacred many Indians. Like the Pequot, whose children, women, and men they literally burned alive. This book is thus worth reading if all you want are the details of what happened after Thanksgiving.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first book by Sarah Vowell and it will not be my last. I've always found the New England settlers to be boring, and she brings them to live with her wry wit. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Chesapeake38819
I especially enjoy listening to this author narrate her own books. This one, like her others, is both witty and interesting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. L. Mendelssohn
I got an autographed copy of this a few years ago... actually, quite a few years ago, and saw Ms. Vowell give a talk about the book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. L. Schoon
Everything I did not learn in school. Love the author's wit and habit of standing in the spot where events took place.Published 2 months ago by Anraku
I find the narration grating. I was hoping for a more in-depth look at the Puritans in America. Didn't realize it was a collection of repetitive essays about someone's personal... Read morePublished 2 months ago by DivaHerHighness
Loved this book/love Sarah Vowell. Always thought Puritan history was boring. Not after reading Sarah!Published 2 months ago by G. W. Fox
Solid history and contemporary insights. Also a fast often funny read.Published 2 months ago by Mr. Scott M. Fincher