Thank you, Sarah Vowell, for being the history teacher I never had. Vowell offers witty, engaging and critical accounts of American history as she reveals her quirky yet endearing affection for our founding fathers and texts. Funny, informative and provocative, I like a women who loves our country while at the same time recognizes its faults, and of course, someone who deeply respects Lincoln, but can admit that J. Wilkes Booth was kind of hot. Post-modern history is here!
I enthusiastically recommend this book. The reader is not required to be interested in assignations, Lincoln or Garfield all that is required is an vague appreciation of history and excellent writing. Sarah Vowell writes history with the voices of humor and irony, and she is always entertaining.
I really like Sarah Vowell and she maximizes the humor in this book. But when it comes right down to it, her topic isn't that interesting. She writes about street corners and statues of ex and often dull presidents. There is a whole chapter written about her thoughts on the musical "Assassins." I was looking forward to all of the guest narrators (Stephen King, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart & Conan O'Brian) but having famous narrators didn't add much to the story because they all read the lines straight.
A few parts that I did find interesting:
Charles Guiteau's time in the Oneida coop back when they were a sex cult and before they made china; Robert Todd Lincoln as the symbol of doom having witnessed two presidential assassinations.
I really enjoyed this one. The readers voice fits the content well, and there are great tid bits of history that spin off from the main topic, which are very enlightening.
This book was both educational and entertaining. Vowel's take on things is very interesting, and she weaves the facts and her hilarious perspective on them in a witty
and engaging way.
Be kind to someone today.
After getting to know Sarah's work on National Public Radio, this was my first of her books. Entertaining!
The most entertaining aspect of this book is the nuggets of obscure but entertaining historical facts dug up by the author. In the vein of Mark Kurlansky, but with Charles Addams' humor and the political sensibility of the Daily Show. The last chapter demonstrates how one can be deeply and lovingly patriotic but still critical of the government and "liberal".
What a fun book; droll and super-interesting. The reader is a pitch perfect match for Vowell's writing voice. Not for listening to while otherwise occupied -- it requires full focus. I'll listen to this one again!