Suggested Books (nonfiction) about New England

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Suggested Books (nonfiction) about New England

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1avaland
nov 25, 2016, 9:45am

I thought we might share our recommendations for books of history, social history, biography, diaries...etc. Please feel free to share yours!

I've read a lot of New England history over the years, mostly social history.

A recent read: Mistress Bradstreet:The Untold Life of America's First Poet by Charlotte Gordon. This was a very enjoyable and readable biography, although to be quite honest, when I was finished, I was glad to be away from the Puritan thinking!

My Heart is Boundless: Writings of Abigail May Alcott, Louisa's Mother by Eve LaPlante. Quite a bit of Abbie May's diary was destroyed, but LaPlante has done a good job editing the bits that survived, plus letters and other writing which, although short, provides us insight into an extraordinary woman (hey, it wasn't easy being married to Bronson Alcott).

I've now started New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren. I've read several other related books, including one PhD thesis on African Americans in New England, so the Warren book should be interesting.





2lilithcat
nov 25, 2016, 12:10pm

I would highly recommend The Diary of Samuel Sewall, 1674-1729, the diary of one of the judges who presided over the Salem witch trials. You might also look at Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience, by Richard Francis.

3Meredy
nov 25, 2016, 3:18pm

For a scholarly but not overly academic view of the colonial period, the actors on both sides of the Atlantic, and one of the most significant figures in the formation of the doctrines of our founding, I'd recommend Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty (2012), by John M. Barry.

4avaland
nov 27, 2016, 9:39am

>2 lilithcat: I've read a lot of books about Salem over the years, and I have the LaPlante book about Sewall (which I haven't read). My favorite Salem history is In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton. Judge Sewall's Apology does intrigue though.

>3 Meredy: Sounds interesting, Meredy.

I would also recommend highly Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates on audio...lest we idealize those early days of colonization:-)

5Bookmarque
Redigerat: nov 27, 2016, 9:56am

For a more natural approach to history and how humans interact with New England forest, I highly recommend Reading the Forested Landscape by Tom Wessels.

6avaland
nov 28, 2016, 10:16am

>5 Bookmarque: Oh, yes, that's a terrific book!