Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation

Downloadable Audiobook - 2005
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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 lighter diversions 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. IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE: Conan O'Brien Robert Todd Lincoln Eric Bogosian John Wilkes Booth Stephen King President Abraham Lincoln Dave Eggers Mike Ryan Catherine Keener Gretchen Worden Jon Stewart President James A. Garfield Tony Kushner John Humphrey Noyes Brad Bird Charles Guiteau & Emma Goldman Daniel Handler President William McKinley Greg Giraldo President Theodore Roosevelt David Rakoff Leon Czolgosz
Publisher: New York : Pocket Books, 2005
Edition: Abridged
ISBN: 9780743590297
Branch Call Number: OverDrive Audiobook
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
Additional Contributors: Stewart, Jon
OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

Sarah Vowell travels across the United States, bringing into sharp focus the figures involved in the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, as well as the social and political circumstances that led to each. She exposes some glorious conundrums of American history in a witt... Read More »

Assassination Vacation 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.

Sarah Vowell recounts the details of her obsessive vacation to places associated with the assassinations of three US presidents.

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ArapahoeAlyson Jan 06, 2017

I am not much of a nonfiction reader, but Sarah Vowell is always an exception. I love learning and laughing at the same time. The book and the audio are fantastic. Immerse yourself in her fascination with history!

Oct 14, 2013

I liked this book on CD so much I ended up buying my own copy. If you are a history nerd or just an interested bystander as it were, she takes us on a vacation to the assassination spots of our first three assassinated presidents and the people who killed them. Her personal experiences getting there (she does not drive) and the friends and family who she takes along for the ride are very funny to listen to.

Aug 07, 2013

For the brainy set, I can’t think of a better first audiobook experience than Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. I go weak in the knees for non-fiction, humor, and first-person narrative, making Sarah a triple threat and me the cheapest audiobook date ever. How adorably nerdy is she for planning a road trip vacation to sites of presidential assassinations? Interspersed are smart-alecky anecdotes about the free-love, cultish origins of the Oneida silverware company, and Important Observations about Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins musical. And you can always count on Sarah for a well-placed Brady Bunch reference. But no matter how hard she tries, her deadpan voice and glib humor will never mask Sarah Vowell's enduring love of country and civic pride.


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LFMatuszewich Apr 21, 2013

Has such a political bias that I did not finish beyond the first 10%, even though I tried a second and third time.


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