The grand majority of her writing focuses on American history with the exception of two of her books, Take the Connoli: Stories from the New World and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, which are a collection of essays. She loves to commentate American society and she has made appearances on The Daily Show; her stories have also appeared on This American Life, and are widely collected in anthologies (including some School Study Media, e.g. The Bedford Reader).
Her works provide insight on:
- Native Americans: Sarah Vowell is one-eighth Cherokee herself and the fact frequently shows up in her works. In Take the Connoli, she actually follows the Trail of Tears.
- The Thirteen American Colonies: The Wordy Shipmates is about the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the governorship of John Winthrop, religious politics of the era, and Indian-Puritan relations.