The National RoadExcerpt
The National RoadFrom the offices of struggling small-town newspapers to the adult film sets of California; from the checkout lanes of Midwestern dollar stores to the sacred sites of Mormonism; from our nation’s highest peaks to the rising seawaters of pilgrim-haunted New England to the corrupt Southern municipalities that prey upon their residents: Tom Zoellner takes to the highways and byways of a vast land in search of the soul of its people.

What does it mean when a nation accustomed to constant motion begins to settle down; when political bloodsport threatens unity; when a pandemic strikes, and when racial hierarchies are challenged after years of abuses? Is our shared soil enough to reinvigorate a troubled national spirit?

By turns nostalgic and probing, incisive and enraged, Zoellner’s journeys across the United States — and into our contradictory histories — reveal a nation divided by faith, politics, and shifting economics, but one united by a shared stake in the common land. This is both a celebration and a reckoning.

“Zoellner exposes naiveté, foolishness, and malfeasance with equal clarity, but he is evenhanded and sometimes produces a piece of sardonic humor, haunting beauty, or melancholy that pulsates on the page.” — Kirkus Reviews

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