Title

'Unfamiliar Fishes' and Professor Vowell?

Would Unfamiliar Fishes be assigned to read in a history course?

Would Sarah Vowell by hired as a history professor?

Probably no on both counts, and that makes me a little sad.

March 27, 2011
 
 

Would Unfamiliar Fishes be assigned to read in a history course?

Would Sarah Vowell by hired as a history professor?

Probably no on both counts, and that makes me a little sad.

Sarah Vowell writes great history books. Unfamiliar Fishes traces the long-term results for the Hawaiian people, and monarchy, of the decision of a few New England evangelists to move to the archipelago in the early 19th century. The end results, including the loss of sovereignty and the eventual annexation by the U.S. may be predictable - but few of us (certainly not myself), know the details of the story. Sarah Vowell, as always, is the perfect person to teach us some history.

Don't get me wrong. Sarah Vowell doesn't really need academia. She is doing just fine on her own. But we need Sarah Vowell, or at least more people like her. Scholars who perhaps do not take themselves so seriously, but can still manage to draw on primary sources to tell new stories.

I imagine Sarah Vowell's lack of terminal credentials, in addition to the first person narrative and frequent insertions of hilarious personal details into her historical narratives, would somewhat disqualify her from the professional historian club.

Our loss.

Any other Sarah Vowell fans out there?

What are you reading?

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