"Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean" (Encore presentation.)

Oct 22, 2013

(Please note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the celebrated American author, Philip Caputo, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in Chicago before going on to write several notable works of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, including 1977's "A Rumor of War," one of the most highly praised and widely read volumes ever published on the Vietnam War. Caputo's latest book, which he discusses with us today, is "The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean." In this work, much in the tradition of John Steinbeck or William Least-Heat Moon or even Charles Kuralt, Caputo basically sets out --- embarking on a four-month, transnational, 16,000-mile journey --- in search of the American character. "I wanted to talk to as many different people from as many different backgrounds as possible," as he says on this edition of StudioTulsa. Indeed, as a critic for The New York Times Book Review has noted of this Florida-to-Alaska travelogue, "[Caputo] keeps the narrative moving with his observant eye and mordant sense of humor." Partly a detailed road-trip and partly a casual yet informed meditation on America's identity as well as its history, "The Longest Road" is (per Publishers Weekly) "a continental tale that's always engaging and frequently reassuring."