Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Into the Wild

Read Assassination Vacation Online Free - Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other—a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue—it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and—the author's favorite— historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult.

Title : Assassination Vacation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 074326004X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 270 pages


Kim rated it ★★★★★

April 03, 2016

Okay, I’m totally going to ruin this book for you---major spoiler alert coming up, folks. pssst… All the Presidents mentioned in the book, DIE. I know, right? You’re saying ‘Aww, cheese and rice! Kim! What’s the point in reading this book then?' Well, lemme tell you…. This book has been quite an ed...

Matt rated it ★★★★☆

April 26, 2016

A reminiscence: Years ago, I persuaded/forced my then-girlfriend to take a trip with me to the Little Big Horn battlefield near Hardin, Montana. It was at the Little Big Horn that Lt. Col. George Custer came to grief, forever making his name a synonym for "bad decision." It was quite a trek to ma...

Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it ★★★★☆

November 13, 2016

Somehow I listened to this entire audiobook in two days. I felt burned by politics and somehow in my head this translated to - more politics! I thought reading about assassinations might be... refreshing. Enter Sarah Vowell with her strange voice, and a host of stories of informational plaques th...

Shannon rated it ★☆☆☆☆

May 28, 2008

Ugh! Sarah Vowell, you annoy the hell out of me, on This American Life and in this book. I always think, "that would be totally funny if that happened to me" but her writing is never sufficient enough to translate it to the page. She's just not a good storyteller--she wants to be David Sedaris bu...

Eric_W rated it ★★★★☆

March 11, 2009

This is a book my wife and I listened to as we drive to doctor appointments, visited children, etc., so it took us a while to get through it completely. That is not to denigrate the book, which is wonderfully entertaining and educational. Ben (GR) and I have exchanged emails recently about whethe...

Kim rated it ★★★☆☆

October 05, 2007

Sarah Vowell has written a hilarious take on heritage tourism, visiting many of the sites related to our poor assassinated presidents. She manages to sneak in a lot of history alongside her wry, sly, sarcastic witticisms, as well as her biting commentary on our current administration, which was g...

Ashley rated it ★★★★☆

July 28, 2017

There’s something about the way Sarah Vowell writes about history that brings it to life for me. Probably because there’s something about the way that Sarah Vowell writes about people, and history is made of people. It often doesn’t feel that way. (Ironically, there’s a section in here where she...

Jacob rated it ★★★☆☆

August 03, 2013

William Dean Howells once described seeing the [casts of Lincoln's] hands at a party in a New York home. One partygoer in particular seemed drawn to them. He picked them up, held the hands in his own, and asked the host to whom they belonged. And when he heard that they were the hands of Abraham...

Bryan rated it ★★☆☆☆

April 30, 2008

I picked this book up as a recommendation from Strand in Manhattan. Not knowing what to expect, I was all at once pleasantly surprised and supremely disappointed. To me, the biggest thing that jumps out about this author's style is that she is the Chuck Klosterman of political history. The plot f...

Debbie rated it ★★★★☆

December 18, 2016

Abraham Lincoln. James Garfield. William McKinley. What do these three men have in common? They were all Presidents of The United States of America. And they were all assassinated. Not everyone would think to create a road-trip out of the deaths of these men, but Sarah Vowell did. She visits muse...

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