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By Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell exposes the fantastic conundrumsof American background and tradition with wit, probity, and an irreverent humorousness. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a highway journey like no different -- a trip to the pit stops of yank political homicide and during the myriad methods they've been used for enjoyable and revenue, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits destinations immortalized and prompted by way of the spilling of politically vital blood, reporting as she is going along with her trademark combination of wisecracking humor, notable honesty, and thought-provoking feedback. We know about the jinx that used to be Robert Todd Lincoln (present on the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The ensuing narrative is way greater than an interesting and informative travelogue -- it's the demanding and engaging tale of ways American dying has been manipulated by means of pop culture, together with literature, structure, sculpture, and -- the author's favourite -- old tourism. although the subjects of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to work out how the Republican celebration turned the Republican celebration, there are all types of lighter diversions alongside the way in which into the lives of the 3 presidents and their assassins, together with mummies, exhibit tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical intercourse cult.

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The Soviets were really out to get us, whereas the antiglobalization forces— represented in their most violent form by an al Qaeda—don't seek our historical destruction so much as a sort of permanent civilizational apartheid. Because we called the post-World War II period the Cold War, history remembers those decades mostly as a scary, strategic standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union. In reality, that was the sideshow of the containment strategy. The real goal of that visionary strategy was to resurrect globalization on three key pillars: the United States, Western Europe, and Japan.

Reaching the summit of this historical arc will take time, but by my standards the Pentagon is showing all the right signs of taking this grand challenge as seri- N E W R U L E SETS 4J ously as they took the nuclear age that preceded it. As a people Americans are easily spooked, but no enemy should ever bet against our boundless capacity for resourcefulness. We are a nation of MacGyvers.

T h e only thing I was certain of was that if we did our jobs right, we l8 T H E P E N T A G O N ' S N E W M A P wouldn't be calling it the "post-Cold War era" for long. The new rule sets were already coming at us from all angles—from technol­ ogy, international trade, generational demographics, and the dam­ aged global environment. The trick, as I saw it, was simply to sharpen my listening skills, for all the clues were already appearing in the emerging strategic en­ vironment, waiting for all of us to connect the dots.

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