During Vowell’s tour of Garfield’s home she examines the library, where Garfield being an avid reader spent lots of time. She points out that his library contains eleven of twelve volumes of The Works of Charles Sumner, the twelfth volume was published after Garfield’s death. This collection was published by Charles Sumner, another passionate reader on Capitol Hill and a Massachusetts senator that was the complete opposite of what Garfield was in office. Due to Garfield’s devotedness to reading, Vowell describes how he would mourn never being able to read all the works published after his death, such as, Huckleberry Finn, a common piece read in modern day.
Today, Washington D. C. sites related to Garfield are either unmarked or have been torn down, but Vowell guides the reader on a tour showing us many sites that are connected to Garfield. The first place is the statue of Winfield Scott Hancock, Garfield’s Democratic opponent in the 1880 presidential election. Just south of this statue, is the Capitol where Garfield gave his inaugural address on March 4, 1881. It was a standard that Garfield spoke about the Republican parties goals within his inaugural ...
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...n buried in the McKinley National Memorial in Canton and next to his grave, is the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum.
Vowell’s connection of the past and the present throughout the literary work Assassination Vacation makes the piece relatable and informative for citizens in today’s society. The connection of modern day with those of the historical events tied to the assassinations of President Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley makes the piece easier to understand our country’s history and represents the significance of studying our history as well. The monuments that surround Washington D.C. and the entire east coast represent our country’s past and should not be under appreciated. Vowell, does an outstanding job of showing the modern era the significance of these landmarks, and the events that occurred that bestow the importance on historical sites.
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