By Gregory Kirschling
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:47 AM EDT

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

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Episode Recaps

Standing in Washington Mall mud on the dreary day George W. Bush was inaugurated, Vowell wept for the miscarried election, yet when the ceremony ended she still couldn’t help but sing along, hand over heart, to the national anthem. Once again, borrowing the metaphor she used in her previous essay collection Take the Cannoli, she is America’s helpless ”battered wife”: knocked around an awful lot, but nonetheless completely in love. Her voice in these new essays is, as before, droll, intelligent, and persuasive, if a little too radio-ready; Vowell contributes to This American Life on public radio, where many of these pieces would sing a little louder than they do here.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

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