CMolieri's Reviews > Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
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Oct 08, 09

bookshelves: history, politics, non-fiction
Read in January, 2009

Vowell, a regular contributor on NPR's This American Life, is a history buff who became obsessed with the Assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, goes on a roadtrip of death. While re-visiting the assassinations, Vowell provides the historical facts surrounding the events, culprits, conspirators, lesser known political activities, and individuals involved leading up to and following the Presidential Assassinations. Her chapters are, much to her own character, peppered with laugh-out-loud witticisms, irony, and regular conversation quips from her sister and nephew Owen. Hilarity and History - what more could you want?

One of my favorite laugh out loud moments was Vowell's explanation of what 'decapitated' means to her young (4?) nephew Owen at the grave of one of the Lincoln conspirators, whose head was all that remained below. Reflecting on when she engaged Owen at Christmas to play knights, battling with plastic swords. "...I told him that the act of chopping off one's head is called 'decapitation' and that a head that's been chopped off has been 'decapitated.' Owen, slicing at my neck like salami, insisted, 'No it's not. It's called meat." (p 42)

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