Hey everyone, I’m about to finish Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. I love this book and have hardly been able to put it down. Sarah is a historian and voice actor, probably mostly known for voicing Viloet in The Incredibles film series.
The book is very well written, hilarious, and packed with amazing, well researched history. The book covers Sarah’s trips to all the points of interest in three assassinations of U.S. Presidents. Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley each gets about a third of the book. Surprisingly Robert Todd Lincoln, Abe’s son is present at all three murders. Vowell jokes the Robert Todd had a second job as an angel of death.
The book showed up as a recommendation because I read lots of David Sedaris books who is an American Humorist and I get lots of history books from Amazon. Vowell does have a similar feel to Sedaris. They both can take you down a path of funny and awkward, but kind of hit you with a poignant end.
Lincoln’s death is well covered in American History from film to middle school, but Vowell still produces great facts with a terrific narrative. The stories about John Wilks Booth’s brother were particular amazing.
Edwin Booth was the greatest Shakespearean actor in the United States in the 19th century. He was well loved, had a statue placed in New York, and actually saved Robert Todd Lincoln from being hit by a train a year before John Wilks Booth killed the president.
The Garfield portion was my favorite. He’s become one of my favorite Presidents. And by far my favorite Christian Conservative Republican. Usually not my scene. Garfield was just a hard working, self made man. The last president born in a log cabin and the last with a beard. In his 200 days in office he straightened out the Post office and hired Frederick Douglas. I’ve become obsessed with the 20th President and would like to make plans to visit his home in Mentor, Ohio and his tomb in Cleveland.
I’m finishing up the book currently and it’s about President McKinley. There’s no not much too him. Has some racist undertones, Spanish-American War, God meant the U.S.A. to be number one. Seems sort of too 2018 for me. Vowell has lots of great stories pertaining to an anarchist movement in New York, and some great stuff on Teddy Roosevelt, who would take office after McKinley.
I couldn’t recommend this book anymore. I love it immensly. Happy reading folks and keep up to date with Mid-American-Culture.