On a switchback ride through the USA, riding pillion with America’s founding fathers, Jonathan Freedland searches out the qualities that made America the land at the end of his childhood rainbow, the place his grandfather and he conspired to run off to because of its open promise and unbounded potential.
Noisy, crass, greedy, riddled with crime, riven by race, obsessed by money: America, exporter of junk to the UK. Or is it?
From Lesbianville in New Hampshire to Tent City in Arizona, from the high kitsch celebration of Liberace to the Bible Belt austerity of Iowa, from the paranoid militia of rural Montana to Florida’s Condo Canyon, this is a journey to the heart of modern America – to Normal, Illinois.
On his travels Freedland reveals how Americans control of their own lives, shape their own communities and vibrantly assert their rights. And there’s even a twist: the spirit that inspires the American secret is actually our own – a British revolutionary fervour mislaid across the Atlantic.
This what has made America the diverse, freedom-loving, self-sufficient, independent icon to the world: the place where socialism never took hold because it is inherent in the founding vision, where capitalism at the same time has reached its apogee; where many cultures contribute to the national fabric and yet the sense of belonging to the nation and reverence for its symbols is unmatched across the globe. It’s time Britain shared the vitality: time to reclaim the revolution and bring it home.