Assassination Vacation (CD-Audio)
Simon & Schuster Audio, 9780743540056
Publication Date: April 4, 2005
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
About the Author
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.
Praise For Assassination Vacation…
"A learned, engagingly discursive, funny, sometimes even jolly ramble -- literally -- through the landscape of American presidential assassinations...Vowell makes an excellent traveling companion, what with her rare combination of erudition and cheek." -- Bruce Handy, The New York Times Book Review
"[Vowell's] gift is one of cosmic inclusion -- allowing the natural collision of intellect and personality, rigorous research, and generational quirks." -- Joan Anderman, The Boston Globe