In The Longest Road, one of America’s most respected writers takes an epic journey across America, Airstream in tow, and asks everyday Americans what unites and divides a country as endlessly diverse as it is large.
Standing on a wind-scoured island off the Alaskan coast, Philip Caputo marveled that its Inupiat Eskimo schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the same flag as the children of Cuban immigrants in Key West, six thousand miles away. And a question began to take shape: How does the United States, peopled by every race on earth, remain united? Caputo resolved that one day he’d drive from the nation’s southernmost point to the northernmost point reachable by road, talking to everyday Americans about their lives and asking how they would answer his question.
So it was that in 2011, in an America more divided than in living memory, Caputo, his wife, and their two English setters made their way in a truck and classic trailer (hereafter known as “Fred” and “Ethel”) from Key West, Florida, to Deadhorse, Alaska, covering 16,000 miles. He spoke to everyone from a West Virginia couple saving souls to a Native American shaman and taco entrepreneur. What he found is a story that will entertain and inspire readers as much as it informs them about the state of today’s United States, the glue that holds us all together, and the conflicts that could cause us to pull apart.
Andrea K. says:
"Road trips are as American as baseball and the 4th of July. The diversity of landscape and subcultures offers boundless opportunity for adventure, and reading a good road trip can be almost as fun as taking the trip itself. But with Philip Caputo's road trip book, The Longest Road, Caputo not only wants to drive an Airstream trailer from Key West, Florida to Deadhorse, Alaska, he wants to see what makes us Americans still united in such politically divisive times.
Accompanied by his very patient wife and two English setters, Caputo talks to everyday people he meets along the way, asking what they think makes us all Americans. The result is not just an entertaining travelogue, but a thoughtful look at where we are today. If you don't have the time to drive the 16,000 miles, this book can be a close second to the experience."