I have to admit that I don’t often read a “serious” book, unless it’s about education or children. I most often read medical mysteries or historical novels or science fiction. “Escape” reading is my usual choice. However, I was an avid reader in college and I do have a serious academic side that still surfaces once in a while. I have a penchant for American history and biographies. So, on the recommendation of a friend I just finished reading “Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul- Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty” by John M. Barry.
All I can say is WOW. I thought Kenneth C. Davis and David McCullough made me feel ignorant! I always suspected that the “G” version of American history we were fed by school textbooks was rather lacking in credibility, but really…I now feel like 90% of what I learned in school was specifically taught in order to develop my American pride. Ironic that the more I learn about the REAL history of our country and the very real personalities of the key players, the more reason I find to BE proud…proud that anyone survived to create a country!!
I think what struck me as I read this book in particular is how complacent most of us are about our freedoms. We take for granted our freedom of thought and speech and religion as though such liberty has always been the norm.
I was also very interested in this time period and the Puritans because my own ancestors settled in New Amsterdam shortly thereafter. Knowing the political climate of the time gives me a new perspective on their reasons for escaping to America.(One of them was arrested and fined for letting a Catholic priest into his home to baptize his child.)
I won’t bore you with an in-depth review. My opinions aren’t nearly as relevant as the author’s. But if you have similar interests I would recommend this as a “good read”.