American Jezebel by Eve LaPlante

American Jezebel

In 1637, Anne Hutchinson, a forty-six-year-old midwife who was pregnant with her sixteenth child, stood before forty male judges of the Massachusetts General Court, charged with heresy and sedition. In a time when women could not vote, hold public office, or teach outside the home, the charismatic Hutchinson wielded remarkable political power. Her unconventional ideas had attracted a following of prominent citizens eager for social reform. Hutchi...

Details American Jezebel

TitleAmerican Jezebel
Release DateApr 25th, 2009
PublisherHarperCollins e-books
GenreHistory, Biography, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, Biography Memoir, Womens

Reviews American Jezebel

  • Ron Charles
    Early in "Civil Disobedience," Henry David Thoreau wonders why government refuses to "cherish its wise minority." He asks, "Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?"His friend Margaret Fuller might have wryly asked why the martyrs who come to mind are all men. After all, until relatively recently, women were silenced long before their ideas could enjoy even the benefi...
  • Mike
    I like Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) . She challenged the social order and made a difference. The rigid religious order to which she subscribed, Puritan, allowed only "educated men" to act in the role of spiritual overseer or pastor. She predated John Wesley in advocating that no intermediary or overseer was required and that the individual could obtain God's grace without help from others. And in so doing she challenged the concept of denomination...
  • Kate
    dude, this book is so sweet. It has given me a solid sense of the history of the Europeans who settled what is now Boston. It's fun to read about what happened in the place you currently live. As someone employed peripherally by Harvard, it's also funny to think about what LaPlante says near the beginning of the book -- that Harvard college was essentially founded to protect the MENZ Important Learnings from Evil Womenz Witches like Anne Hutchins...
  • Julie Bell
    I understand that this was a difficult read; there were lots of details and it was hard to put the whole picture together. Many rabbit trails. However, I must say that I'm very glad to have read this book and am very happy to know about Anne Hutchinson's life. I'm fairly amazed all that she accomplished and really surprised that I never knew about her, before. She is not a feminist that waves a NOW sign and burns her bra, but she is an assertive,...
  • Robert Pajer
    Eve Laplante’s American Jezebel is an engaging exposition of one of America’s most notable forgotten women, Anne Hutchinson. Creating vivid scenes of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island, the Dutch occupied New Amsterdam (later to become New York), and through historical flashbacks, Laplante manages to draw the reader into the, at times, laborious and uneven narrative structure of the Hutchinson trial. It quickly becomes evident that th...
  • Val Sanford
    Fantastic exploration of the political and religious issues of Anne Hutchinson and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. LaPlante delves into the religious conflict between the emerging Protestants and the Anglican Church in England and then continues the story in America, with the conflict between the different beliefs and values of the men in power. Anne Hutchinson's story is a remarkable story about faith in oneself and living by your conviction. It's...
  • Giedra
    This book was very slow going for me, but I'm still glad I read it. The author, a descendant of Anne Hutchinson, describes the trial of Anne Hutchinson that was conducted in early 17th c. Boston on the charges basically of "preaching" but probably more accurately, of speaking critically about other local preachers. The author reviews written records of the trial, as well as personal correspondence/memoirs of many of the key players in order to wr...
  • Tayla
    I enjoyed learning about Hutchinson, but her story the book was weighed down by an overabundance of minor details about the people surrounding her making it a difficult read in some spots. While I appreciate the extent of the research that went into the book and understand that it's important to understand the context of the story and lives of those involved I found it distracting. Overall, though, I'm glad to have a better understanding of Hutch...
  • IreneS
    Anne Hutchinson was an interesting character but I found this book to be a bit on the slow side and tough to get through. I kept putting it down and going off and doing other things.there's another biography about her out there somewhere, I'll have to find it and give it a read.
  • Karyn
    A meticulously researched and detailed account of Anne Hutchinson of Puritan fame, or infamy, really. Included are fascinating portraits of the people involved in her trial and their religious background and beliefs. The development of these religious beliefs is enlightening, but tedious in the point by point explanation for my rather pagan tastes.Recommended for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the Puritan experience from England to the...
  • Michelle
    I love my book club dearly and love the challenges it offers. Let's face it--I never would have chosen this book for myself (even though I agreed it sounded interesting) and I certainly would NEVER, EVER have finished it without the pressure of the club. That said--this was the worst book I read in 2010. And yes, I did start this in 2010. Like in October. And I didn't finish it until the last day of January 2011 (because I told myself this could ...
  • Jonelle
    I was really interested in reading something about Anne Hutchinson and Anne Bradstreet after reading Geraldine Brooks' excellent new book "Caleb's Crossing". This book, "American Jezebel", not only provided background on Hutchinson (and a little for Bradstreet), but also helped deepen my understanding of why America is so schizophenic about religion and the role of women in society. While the book was a bit of a slog at times, Anne Hutchinson's s...
  • Kathleen
    This is an interesting examination of the trial of Anne Hutchinson by the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for heresy in holding meetings in her home to share her interpretations of what the preachers had taught and what the Bible said.In the process of this examination, the author gives brief, and in some cases, not-so-brief, descriptions of the lives and histories of not only Anne and her family members, but also many of the other people...
  • Marieke
    I had some trouble following some aspects, like theological arguments, but otherwise this was a fascinating social history of Puritan life in England and New England. ETA: courtroom drama as the backdrop; fantastic way to organize this story.
  • ~ Cheryl ~
    Fascinating account of the controversial Anne Hutchinson, a Puritan woman who emigrated from England to Massachusetts in the early-1600’s. She and the fledgling community’s government face-off over issues of theology. This book looks at the details of her court hearing.I loved looking into this corner of history; LaPlante did an excellent job of training her searchlight into it. The historical background on the main people and places was just...
  • Amanda
    I ultimately was disappointed to find a book that somehow managed to make reading about a woman with such an interesting life boring.Anne Hutchinson was what I like to think of as a quiet rebel. She did things like hide the birth of a grotesquely malformed stillborn so that the mother wouldn’t be judged by the community as somehow entangled with Satan or being punished by God. She led Bible studies/prayer meetings in her home, and these groups ...
  • Alexandra
    I was dying to read this book for ages when I saw in the college library because I'm an Americanist by training and my major field of study is American Religious History. Further, I'm one of those obnoxious souls who can read a book about Puritan New England and discover that some intrepid historian has dug-up one of my ancestors being saved or hanged, depending on the day. Growing-up in Massachusetts, Anne Hutchinson is one of the state's more (...
  • Liz
    I was prompted to read this book when my 5th grade daughter chose Anne Hutchinson for a research project, and I had never even heard of her. Hutchinson was a 17th century Massachusetts colonist who was banished and excommunicated ostensibly for her unorthodox beliefs but mainly because her intellect and certitude threatened the Puritan power structure. And the men in charge did not like being schooled by a woman. LaPlante's book argues that she i...
  • Andrea
    When I read nonfiction, the books I tend to be interested in are usually about theology, history, or feminism. This biography contains all of that and more. I knew very little about Anne Hutchinson before reading this and came away with deep respect for the woman who consistently held her ground against the men who wanted her silenced and banished. Eve LaPlante did a nice job providing vivid historical, cultural, and religious context which made ...
  • Jess Boynton
    I really enjoyed this book even if it was a bit dry in areas. I don't know if it was more interesting to me b/c she was my great (something) grand-mother. She produced a great many political and religious leaders throughout American history. She almost feels like an American mother b/c of how many of her desendents followed in her footsteps. She was a truly amazing woman.
  • Jen
    Amazing story of Anne Hutchinson. Wow! The Puritans leaders were real 'gems.' I didn't care for some of the author's commentary at the end, but the information in this book is priceless. From the actual transcripts of the court proceedings.
  • Tom N
    Great book. Loved the history of this era. The main character was a real renegade for a woman of the Colonial Period in America. She held her own against the Puritan leaders of the time.
  • Beth Clothier
    Puritans, man. What a bunch of dicks.
  • Brenda Selner
    Very thorough research. I enjoyed the bits and pieces which are not normally included (plague rock, historical marker, etc.) in a bio. I'm surprised Anne is not more revered than she is.
  • Pat
    Almost 5 stars for this historical fiction about Anne Hutchinson in the 1600s. I found it ironic that her family left England to find religious freedom, but when Anne talked to her family and friends about religion, she was put on trial 2 times for heresy and sedition. At 46 and pregnant with her 16th child, she was brought before 40 male judges of the Massachusetts General Court and then had to endure another church trial for what seemed to me t...
  • Sugarpuss
    I learned about Anne Hutchinson while reading Eleanor Flexner's CENTURY OF STRUGGLE. When I read that my 11th great-grandfather John Winthrop was her main prosecutor, I knew I had to learn more. For me, this was a book about my family's history as much as it was for Ms LaPlante. Between Winthrop & Thomas Dudley, who is my 10th great-grandfather, there was quite a bit I learned. Unfortunately, this book bogged down in parts, but I was fascinated h...
  • Mike Shoop
    Plenty of good info in this biography, but it was rather dry. It did confirm that Hutchinson's father, Reverend Francis Marbury, taught Captain John Smith (of Jamestown fame), and I also discovered that an ancestor of my wife's served as an assistant in the court that brought Anne Hutchinson up on charges which led to her expulsion from Massachusetts Bay.
  • Joshua Schroeder
    Absolutely brilliant book. American Jezebel makes a rather difficult history easy and entertaining for the common person to understand. Also a must read for anyone who wants to do any real research on the Puritans. I found it a useful springboard into my own research on the subject.
  • Mary Swilling
    A timely story.An exceptional biography of Anne Hutchinson, whose life story gives deeper insight into early colonial American life than the more traditional 'dead white man history'. She was a gifted woman, wife, mother, and intellectual who terrified male leaders in her time in the early Massachusetts colony. ( I found myself drawing parallels to the current political atmosphere.)