The Partly Cloudy Patriot

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Simon and Schuster, 2003 - History - 224 pages
40 Reviews
From public radio This American Life contributor and self-described “history nerd” Sarah Vowell comes a collection of humorous and personal essays investigating American history, pop culture and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In this insightful and funny collection of personal stories Vowell travels through the American past and in doing so 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

Funny little essays, mostly about US history and politics. I really liked Vowell in her Daily Show interview, but these fell flat for me. She's obviously funny and thoughtful and well-informed--but ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lycomayflower - LibraryThing

I always thought maybe Sarah Vowell wouldn't suit me, but I quite enjoyed this audiobook of The Partly Cloudy Patriot, a series of essays about politics, history, pop culture, and the points where the ... Read full review

All 8 reviews »

Contents

What He Said There i
1
The First Thanksgiving
9
Ike Was a Handsome Man
17
God Will Give You Blood to Drink in a Souvenir
31
The New German Cinema
43
PopAShot
61
California as an Island
67
Dear Dead Congressman
79
Tom Cruise Makes Me Nervous
125
Underground Lunchroom
131
Wonder Twins
141
Mounties
147
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
155
State of the Union
173
The Strenuous Life
181
Acknowledgments
197

The Nerd Voice
87
Rosa Parks Cest Mot
119

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About the author (2003)

Sarah Vowell is the author of Take the Cannoli and is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life. She lives in New York City.

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