Long way home
Walker & Co.
If there is one idea that defines America, it is the belief that taking a long road trip is the best way to define America. In this perceptive, optimistic reprise of John Steinbeck's 1962 Travels with Charley, Barich reveals the heartland along a Delaware–Kansas–San Francisco axis of narrow highways through small towns during the 2008 election campaign and economic collapse. Barich allows that this slice of Middle America is whiter, more rural, and more Republican than the country as a whole. It's also, one feels, a traveler's America of cheap motels and lousy chain restaurants, of passing conversations with storekeepers and hospitality workers used to putting up a genial, guarded front for potential customers.
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