Kristopher's Reviews > Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
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's review
Jun 09, 11

bookshelves: audio-book, non-fiction, read-in-2011
Read in June, 2011

Although I like Sarah Vowell, the (rather scattered) subject of this book didn't really appeal to me until I read a play about John Wilkes Booth. Wanting to know more, I spent an Audible credit to get this.

Moving between the assassinations of three presidents--Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley--this book is chockablock with historical coincidences and interesting tidbits about life (and death) in the 19th century. Vowell also spends a lot of time looking at how we preserve history in the United States, visiting homes, viewing artifacts, and comparing the grand Lincoln memorial to the small plaque marking the place where McKinley was killed.

My one major complaint is that Vowell barely mentioned the Kennedy assassination. Maybe she thinks that, being in living memory, that one is still too raw to mix with the wry, jokey tone of the rest of the book. But I think it would have made an interesting modern comparison to the others.

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