Thursday, June 14, 2012

Assassination Vacation

Laura McCaffrey, one of our board members, former librarian, and consummate lover of books, recommended a work by Sarah Vowell to me the other day. "Assassination Vacation" takes you on the travels of the author (who not only writes books but is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life) in her quest to learn more about the events, places and people associated with the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley.

Sarah is the epitome of the "history geek".

As someone who minored in history, I knew a great deal of the Lincoln story but Garfield and McKinley somehow got short shrift in my history classes. I now know more about those two men than I ever thought I would, thanks to this easily and quickly read work. Plus there's poor Robert Todd Lincoln, who had the misfortune of having a connection of some sort to all three killings.

This is a great summer read and one that students in high school would enjoy as well. Parents of middle school kids--you might want to read this first to see what you think.

One note of caution: the author does not hide her personal politics in this work so if you don't agree with her, best to skip those parts and move onto to the next paragraph. Or realize that we're all entitled to our opinions.

My copy of the book was obtained via a used book outlet--personally I love reading "used" books as I like to imagine who else has owned the volume.


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