When the topic comes to presidential assassins, most people will not use the word amusing and assassins in the same sentence; however; Dan Danbom, a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, proved otherwise and stated that Vowell has succeeded in creating a “humorous” historical context by writing “I can confidently say that Sarah Vowel’s Assassination Vacation is the most amusing book you’ll read this year about presidential assassinations” (Danbom). Sarah Vowel’s purpose of Assassination Vacation is to allow readers to have a look at both sides of history to shed light on the assassins, to reanimate moments lost to history, and to make her book more interesting by using her unique style of writing; although she fails miserably by adding in too much humor and too many personal opinions, she was successful by examining the motive of the assassins, giving analysis to allow readers to look at past and present events, and by using her interesting style of writing to engage readers to continue reading the story.
In Assassination Vacation, Vowell is successful for her attempt to shed lights on the assassins by examining the motive of the assassins. Most people would straight ahead consider assassinating a president as bad; however, what about tyrants? John Wilkes Booth, the assassination of President Lincoln, shouted “Sic simper tyrannis” ( Vowell 71) after he jumped from the Presidents box to the stage---obviously proving that Lincoln is a tyrant in his mind. When Lincoln gave the speech on reconstruction, Booth said to Powell, “That means nigger citizenship. Now, by god, I will put him through. That will be the last speech he will ever make” (Vowell 30). Lincoln was obviously performing the acts and setting laws that Booth doesn’t like, just like how tyrants may set rules that are unreasonable to most. Vowell also succeeds by examining the motives of Charles J. Guiteau, the man who was responsible for Garfield’s death. Vowell examined the motives of Guiteau and...
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