Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
The title of this book kept me from reading it for many years even though I love Steinbeck. The title suggested that the book was a vapid piece of bragging about what a wonderful place America is....well, I do not disagree that America is wonderful and great, but I did not want to hear my beloved Steinbeck doing some kind of Readers Digest puff piece on America. Wow! Was I wrong! This book is great Steinbeck writing....nothing short of his usual perceptive and feeling prose. It reminds me a bit of Travels with Charley in that this book is non-fiction and a report on the state of American and Americans during the fifties and sixties mostly, with some World War II stuff added. One or two pieces are among the last of Steinbeck's last writings....the essays on Vietnam deal with his trip to that county during the war in 1967, and Steinbeck died less than two years later. His mature, late-life writing is simply great, as indeed most of his work was from at least 1939 forward. Thank God I took a chance on this book....good Steinbeck prose is as good as any prose ever written, and there is very good stuff here. Finally, much of what he includes here is humorous, very reminiscent of some of Twain's journalism with tongue in cheek, such as his Innocents Abroad or Roughing It. Listen and enjoy! (PS...the narrator is excellent, the sound quality excellent also)