By Bill Steigerwald
Invoice Steigerwald had a super plan for exhibiting how a lot the US has replaced within the final part century -- or so he notion. He’d easily retrace the 10,000-mile path John Steinbeck took round the united states in 1960 for his liked bestseller Travels With Charley.
Then he’d examine the the USA he observed with the rustic Steinbeck defined in his vintage highway ebook. but if the intrepid ex-newspaperman from Pittsburgh begun learning Steinbeck’s journey he exposed a surprising literary scoop. Steinbeck’s iconic nonfiction publication used to be a fraud. Travels With Charley used to be not only filled with fiction. It was once a misleading and cheating account of the good novelist’s genuine highway journey. Steigerwald made his personal street journey precisely 50 years after Steinbeck did. Chasing and fact-checking Steinbeck’s ghost for 11,276 miles and forty three days, assembly enormous quantities of normal american citizens, usually slumbering behind his motor vehicle in Wal-Mart parking plenty, he drove from Maine to California to Texas.
Despite the good Recession and nationwide headlines dripping with gloom and doom, Steigerwald chanced on an the United States alongside the Steinbeck street that used to be monstrous, empty, wealthy, secure, fresh, wealthy and pleasant. He didn’t simply reaffirm his religion in the USA to resist the lengthy educate of abuse from Washington and Wall highway, although. He additionally uncovered the half-century-old myths of Travels With Charley, ruffled the PhDs of the country’s most sensible Steinbeck students and compelled “Charley’s” writer to ultimately inform the reality. Steigerwald is a well-traveled journalist and veteran libertarian columnist.
With the spirit of a teenage driving force, a dogged pursuit of the evidence and a clean standpoint approximately the United States proudly situated within the middle of Flyover state no longer ny, he spins the tale of his trip with Steinbeck’s ghost right into a provocative, news-making and exciting American highway e-book.
Read or Download Dogging Steinbeck: How I went in search of John Steinbeck's America, found my own America, and exposed the truth about 'Travels With Charley' PDF
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Extra info for Dogging Steinbeck: How I went in search of John Steinbeck's America, found my own America, and exposed the truth about 'Travels With Charley'
And if any locals swiped whatever in their associates’ from the roadside, they’d need to visit over again area to exploit it or promote it to prevent being stuck. path eleven took me longer than it may have. the elements and surroundings have been too nice to disregard. I pulled over a dozen instances to take images of sagging deserted farm homes, lengthy stretches of lonesome road or the lovable little relaxation stops that MaineDOT has minimize into the pine and hardwood jungle. the country “waysides” supply greater than quiet locations for picnics or nature calls. while it dawned on me that i'd now not discover a eating place for an afternoon or , I pulled right into a leisure zone to shawl down a few peanut butter and crackers. Greeting me have been 3 empty parked cars and one individual smoking a cigarette at a picnic desk. After 10 mins the secret of the lacking drivers used to be solved while a middle-aged guy and girl emerged from the flaming woods, went on to their respective pickup vans and drove off in numerous instructions. additional facts of important Maine’s persistent lodge scarcity. On I drove. Peter Breslow, the NPR manufacturer, known as and we arrange a time for Scott Simon to interview me day after today while I’d be in Lancaster, New Hampshire. I had my first face-to-face come upon with a human on nation direction eleven whilst I drove throughout the unhappy little burg of Patten. I had doubled again to photo a bush-choked outdated condo on major road that used to be evidently inhabited whilst Steinbeck moved quickly via 50 years in the past. As I bought out of my vehicle, a tender girl stopped, rolled her passenger window down and requested if i wanted any aid. She concept i used to be misplaced, which it seemed like i used to be. yet i used to be simply using as though site visitors legislation did not observe to newshounds. while I advised her i used to be chasing Steinbeck, she gave me a brief heritage of her city of 1,200 mid-Mainers. the longer term didn’t sound too promising for Patten. It owed its life to the lumber growth of the 1800s and nonetheless trusted forestry, searching, fishing and the wooden items industries for a disproportionate proportion of its jobs. earlier than the lady drove off she prompt I take an image of the Patten basic shop down the line. “Why? ” I requested. "Because it is going to be torn down the next day. " She wasn't the 1st girl in timeless/spaceless/changeless Maine to imagine i used to be a helpless guy in misery. She was once the fourth in lower than 24 hours. the 1st time was once in Calais. After I had left Karen's major highway diner and the Calais book place, i ended by means of the facet of the line on my approach out of city to jot down what i assumed will be a brief weblog merchandise. It used to be a delightful spot through the St. Croix River, yet often i needed to use the unexpected surge in Verizon's cellphone sign. (Three weeks later, whilst my spouse received our invoice, I’d research the powerful sign have been coming from around the river in Canada. days of cross-border roaming fees in higher Maine might expense $900. In Billings, Montana, I’d waste a day at a Verizon shop getting the costs decreased to 0. ) I wrote a web publication access approximately Calais and its humans whereas sitting within the driver’s place, yet simply because my machine was once on my "bed" within the again I needed to twist round among front seats to sort.