Sarah Vowell a historian and writer. She has written seven books on American history. She was a contributing editor for This American Life from 1996 to 2008.
In the first episode of AADL reads, we chatted with Sarah Vowell not only about her latest book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, but also about her relationship with reading, her go-to classics, and more!
Sarah Vowell is not short on facets. She’s writer, a historian, a satirist, a radio star and an actor. While he writing voice can be satirical, you might recognize her speaking voice as that of Violet in the Pixar animated series “The Incredibles.” She's a contributor to the public radio show This American Life, and has written seven New York Times’ bestselling books on culture and American history — all from a number of strange and interesting angles. In this conversation, Alan Alda and Sarah explore writing for different kinds of audiences— and her irresistible attraction to verbal shenanigans.Support the show.
Bill Radke talks to historian, author and former This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell about America's troubled history and how it can better help us understand today.
Kurt Andersen looks into how the Lincoln Memorial became an American Icon. Sarah Vowell discusses the battle over Lincoln's memory, which lasted for three generations. Dorothy Height, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, recalls witnessing Marian Anderson's historic concert there in 1939, and hearing Martin Luther King Jr. declare "I have a dream" in 1963. And a former White House aide sets the record straight on Richard Nixon's infamous 4 a.m. trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he met with student protesters there to denounce the Vietnam War.Actor David Strathairn reads the Gettysburg Address, which is engraved on the Memorial, for Studio 360. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Creator Details

Dec 27th, 1969
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
6 hours, 57 minutes