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"How was it possible, I wondered, that all of this American land--in every direction--could be fastened together into a whole?"
What does it mean when a nation accustomed to moving begins to settle down, when political discord threatens unity, and when technology disrupts traditional ways of building communities? Is a shared soil enough to reinvigorate a national spirit? From the embattled newsrooms of small town newspapers to the pornography film sets of the Los Angeles basin, from the check-out lanes of Dollar General to the holy sites of Mormonism, from the nation's highest peaks to the razed remains of a cherished home, like a latter-day Woody Guthrie, Tom Zoellner takes to the highways and byways of a vast land in search of the soul of its people.
By turns nostalgic and probing, incisive and enraged, Zoellner's reflections reveal a nation divided by faith, politics, and shifting economies, but--more importantly--one united by a shared sense of ownership in the common land. (Counterpoint LLC)
Tom Zoellner is the author and co-author of eight previous nonfiction books, the politics editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books , an associate professor of English at Chapman University and a visiting professor of English at Dartmouth College. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper's , Men's Health , the Los Angeles Times , The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal , and many other places. He is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from The Lannan Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Tod Goldberg is the author of more than a dozen books, including Gangsterland, a finalist for the Hammett Prize; The House of Secrets, which he coauthored with Brad Meltzer; and the crime-tinged novels Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Fake Liar Cheat, plus five novels in the popular Burn Notice series. He is also the author of the story collection Simplify, a 2006 finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize, and Other Resort Cities. His essays, journalism, and criticism have appeared in many publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Las Vegas Weekly, and Best American Essays, among many others, and have won five Nevada Press Association Awards. He lives in Indio, California, where he directs the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside.