Thursday, March 24
Sarah Vowell – Unfamiliar Fishes
Many people think of 1776 – when we became a nation devoted to the pursuit of happiness through self-government – as the defining year in American history. But Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 may have been just has pivotal. It was in 1898, in what she calls “an orgy of imperialism,” that the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded first Cuba, then the Philippines, becoming an international superpower practically overnight. In her new book, Unfamiliar Fishes, Vowell – the best-selling author of the Wordy Shipmates and Assassination Vacation – examines Hawaii, the place she says “Manifest Destiny got a sunburn.” With her trademark dry humor, Vowell discovers the emblematic and exceptional history of the 50th state, and, in doing so, finds America, warts and all.