Assassination Vacation

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Simon & Schuster, Feb 6, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
1677 Reviews
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.

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This was well-written and well researched. - Goodreads
I couldn't get into the writing style. - Goodreads
Educational and quirky. - Goodreads
Sorry but that's just lazy writing. - Goodreads
Clever premise but the execution isn't exactly perfect. - Goodreads
An interesting change of pace for me... - Goodreads

Review: Assassination Vacation

User Review  - Amanda - Goodreads

Ms. Vowell has a knack for storytelling and humblebragging. Read full review

Review: Assassination Vacation

User Review  - Tom Rowe - Goodreads

Part presidential assassination history part travelogue. Add some left-wing political commentary and a good dose of quirkiness, and you have a pretty entertaining book. I recommend. Read full review

About the author (2006)

Sarah Vowell is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life and has written for Time, Esquire, GQ, Spin, Salon, McSweeneys, The Village Voice, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.

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