Sarah Vowell: America's Missionary-Style Foreign Policy Is Like an Invasive Tree Species

Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell

Author (and former SF Weekly columnist) Sarah Vowell really has a lot to say about the role religion has played in American life. Her previous book, The Wordy Shipmates, is about New England Puritans, while in her most recent, Unfamiliar Fishes, now out in paperback, she traces the history of Hawaii from the missionaries coming to the events of annexation to the U.S.

Vowell, who appears at Herbst Theatre on Monday (March 12), talked with us about the Bible verse she believes influences American life and foreign policy, how 1898 was the year the U.S. became an empire, and how the banyan tree symbolizes America for her, even though it's an Indian species.

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