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The longest road : overland in search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Husbands and wives
Cross-country journeys
Cross-country travel
Road trip adventure
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- United States
Time Period
2011 -- 21st century
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  Library Journal Review

Novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Caputo (Crossers) is a guy you could meet in any American campground: retired and driving an elderly Airstream trailer hitched to an equally elderly pickup truck. Yet over the course of over 11,000 miles from Key West, FL, to the Arctic Ocean, Caputo shows readers he's not quite an average guy as he tolerates unexpected tantrums from his vehicles, his two confined hunting dogs, and, on rare occasions, his long-suffering wife. What is his intent here? Caputo set out in 2011 to learn what holds our far-flung and diverse country together. Unexpected encounters lead to many gratifying and insightful conversations on a Florida beach, in a Nebraska campground, and in the wilds of Alaska. Some travel days on the open road are far from remarkable, while others are filled with overwhelming beauty and fascinating people. Along the way, Caputo's never flags in his intense curiosity and quest to understand our country better. Verdict This is a very satisfying read except for one glaring omission: there is not a single map to help the reader follow the route. An essential travelog.-Olga Wise, Austin, TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Faced with a double dose of mortality-his father's death and the prospect of turning 70-Caputo decided in 2011 to live a long-dormant dream. He hitched an Airstream trailer to a pickup truck and drove from the southernmost point of the U.S (Key West, Fla.) to the northernmost point (Deadhorse, Ala.). During the trip, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author (A Rumor of War) asked people he encountered one burning question: what keeps the nation together during this wobbly period of high unemployment and political fragmentation? Caputo avoids an exercise in earnest, neon-flashing patriotism by simply letting his smalltown subjects talk. The interviewees-including a husband-and-wife missionary team, a French-speaking saloon owner, and a young man looking for hope in a desperate Indian reservation-yield uncluttered insight into the makeup of the American spirit. Caputo also provides ample historical background to the trip's sites and a nice dose of humor. Curious and genuine, he weaves these elements together to produce a continental tale that is always engaging and frequently reassuring. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p> 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. </p> <p>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 abouttheir lives and asking how they would answer his question.</p> <p>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 stateof today's United States, the glue that holds us all together, and the conflicts that could cause us to pull apart.</p>
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