Patrick McCoy's Reviews > Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
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's review
Sep 22, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: essays, history, travel

I had previously read Sarah Vowell’s engaging book of essays, Take The Cannoli, and it enjoyed it. And I liked the concept for Assassination Vacation-going on a road trip to various historical locations of the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. The first chapter is on the Lincoln assassination and it should come as no surprise that it is the longest and the most tedious for me there was a lot of attention to details that I found trivial or uninteresting. Perhaps it also had something to do with the familiarity of the subject as well, but also a lot do with the fact that she focuses too much on John Wilkes Booth. The second section on Garfield’s assassination was more interesting to me because I didn’t know as much about his assassination or his administration as president. Again perhaps there was too much information about his assassin Charles Guiteau as well. However, I found the third section about McKinley’s assassination the most fascinating because of what was going on with his administration as well as who took over once he died, Teddy Roosevelt, and the fact that his murderer Leon Czolgosz was inspired by Emma Goldman and the anarchists to assassinate McKinley. The last section that ties it together was really interesting as well. I would have preferred that Vowell spend more time on the administrations rather than the trivia surrounding the assassinations.

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