April 23, 2010

Assassination Vacation

I've had Sarah Vowell's voice in my head for the past month and it's been a snarky, insightful treat. First I read The Wordy Shipmates, and for last night's rousing Guys Who Read meeting, Assassination Vacation.

In this one she travels the country visiting all the historical sites related to the first three presidential assassinations: Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. It's part history documentary and part Roadside America. She even visits the Mutter Museum!

She's hilarious as usual, calling Robert Todd Lincoln "Jinxy McDeath" since he happens to be nearby during all three assassinations. But she also takes the time to connect what she learns to our modern struggles, particularly the dark similarities in McKinley's empire building and our previous administration's.

Again: I dearly wish I'd been able to read this kind of thing in my high school history classes. Kids today. They have no idea how good they have it!

1 comment:

Victoria said...

I love how she renames folks. I also love hearing a bit of clever snark in my history type books. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I got some funny looks when I was reading it at the park. Interestingly enough I got no comments about The Poisoner's Handbook. Hmmm?