ist and social commentator
. Often referred to as a "social observer," Vowell has written five nonfiction books on American history and culture, and was a contributing editor for the radio program This American Life
on Public Radio International
from 1996–2008, where she produced numerous commentaries and documentaries and toured the country in many of the program’s live shows. She was also the voice of Violet in the animated film The Incredibles
Vowell was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma
and moved to Bozeman, Montana
with her family when she was 11.
...the huge Jackson Pollock canvas that is the U.S.A.: vast, murky, splotched and slapped together by a drunk.
...Clemenza's overriding responsibility is to his family. He takes a moment out of his routine madness to remember that he had promised his wife that he would bring dessert home. His instruction to his partner in crime is an entire moral manifesto in six little words: 'Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.'
Being a nerd, which is to say going too far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know.
I was enjoying a chocolatey café mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. ...the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top. No wonder it costs so much. :Simon & Schuster, 2005, ISBN 0-7432-6003-1
I understand why other people would want to stay in B&Bs. They're pretty. They're personal. They're “quaint,” a polite way of saying “no TV.” They are “romantic,” i.e., every object large enough for a flower to be printed on it is going to have a flower printed on it. They're “cozy,” meaning that a guest has to keep her belongings on the floor because every conceivable flat surface is covered in knickknacks, except for the one knickknack she longs for, a remote control.
Going to Ford's Theatre|Ford's Theatre to watch the play is like going to Hooters|Hooters for the food.
I haven't decided if Samuel Mudd|he deserved to eat bread made out of sticks or live in a rancid puddle, probably because I haven't made up my mind whether anyone deserves such treatment, though I suspect that the day a person gives up on the Geneva Conventions|Geneva Conventions is the day a person gives up on the human race.