The Partly Cloudy Patriot
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Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and, in doing so, investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. In this insightful and funny collection of personal stories Vowell -- widely hailed for her inimitable stories on public radio's This American Life -- ponders a number of curious questions: Why is she happiest when visiting the sites of bloody struggles like Salem or Gettysburg? Why do people always inappropriately compare themselves to Rosa Parks? Why is a bad life in sunny California so much worse than a bad life anywhere else? What is it about the Zen of foul shots? And, in the title piece, why must doubt and internal arguments haunt the sleepless nights of the true patriot?
Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, themes, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration.
The result is a teeming and engrossing book, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Must Read/Listen to
Great book, mandatory reading for all informed US citizens.
Nice collection of essays
I prefer her more substantial work like Assassination Vacation but this is a nice collection of her earlier essays. As always, her quirky insight is fabulously refreshing.
It's an anthology
It's an anthology of short essays that are written with wit, some neat insights but it is overwritten. Many grammatical errors! Disappointing. The protagonist is fascinated by history but, ironically it is that very fascination with the past that renders her as an uninteresting person to listen to at such length -- she talks of all sorts of events but nothing actually happens.