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A superb book about Don Watson's journeys around America. Featured as one of Newsweek’s 50 ‘What to Read Now and Why’ titles.

A superb book about Don Watson's journeys around America. Featured as one of Newsweek’s 50 ‘What to Read Now and Why’ titles.

Only in America - the most powerful democracy on earth, home to the best and worst of everything - are the most extreme contradictions possible. In a series of journeys acclaimed author Don Watson set out to explore the nation that has influenced him more than any other.

Travelling by rail gave Watson a unique and seductive means of peering into the United States, a way to experience life with its citizens: long days with the American landscape and American towns and American history unfolding on the outside, while inside a tiny particle of the American people talked among themselves.

Watson's experiences are profoundly affecting: he witnesses the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast; explores the savage history of the Deep South, the heartland of the Civil War; and journeys to the remarkable wilderness of Yellowstone National Park.

Yet it is through the people he meets that Watson discovers the incomparable genius of America, its optimism, sophistication and riches - and also its darker side, its disavowal of failure and uncertainty.

Beautifully written, with gentle power and sly humour, American Journeys investigates the meaning of the United States: its confidence, its religion, its heroes, its violence, and its material obsessions. The things that make America great are also its greatest flaws.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143790990

    January 2, 2018

    Penguin

    352 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9781741666212

    March 2, 2009

    Vintage Australia

    352 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742744506

    April 1, 2011

    Random House Australia

    348 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Awards and Recognition

  • The Age Book of the Year Award
    2008
    Winner
    The Age Book of the Year Award
  • The Indie Awards
    2008
    Winner
    The Indie Awards (Non-Fiction)
  • Walkley Book Award
    2008
    Winner
    Walkley Book Award (Non Fiction)
  • Queensland Literary Awards
    2008
    Shortlisted
    Queensland Literary Awards (Non Fiction)
  • WA Premier's Literary Awards
    2008
    Shortlisted
    WA Premier's Literary Award (Non Fiction)
  • Prime Minister's Literary Awards
    2009
    Shortlisted
    Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Non Fiction)