In a series of journeys acclaimed Aussie author Don Watson set out to explore the nation that h...
In a series of journeys acclaimed Aussie author Don Watson set out to explore the nation that has influenced him more than any other. Traveling by rail gives Watson a unique and seductive means of peering into the country, a way to experience life with its citizens: long days with the American landscape and American towns and American history unfolding on the outside, while inside a tiny particle of the American people talked among themselves. His experiences are profoundly affecting: he witnesses the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast; explores the savage history of the Deep South; and journeys to the remarkable wilderness of Yellowstone National Park. Yet it is through the people he meets that Watson discovers the incomparable genius of America, the optimism, sophistication, and riches—and also a darker side, the disavowal of failure and uncertainty. Beautifully written, with gentle power and sly humor, this book investigates the meaning of the United States, concluding that the things that make America great are also its greatest flaws.