The subject matter for this book would have worked much better as a historical or economic study than as a travelogue. Cooke's journey covers most states of the union: East Coast, West Coast, Deep South and Industrial Mid-West but apart from breif and rather samey descriptions of the impact of war on the availability of various commodities does not tell us very much. Whenever Cooke stops to meet real people their opinions are either represented as those of uneducated bigots or abbreviated to a couple of sentences, giving the impression of Cooke being a rather snobbish New Yorker visiting the hicks. Cooke's style of writing is unremittingly irritating: he uses an overly flowery style and glories in his wide vocabularly. This writing style may benefit books where the subject matter is more worthy such as Venice or Paris but when used to describe a Washington State lumber yard this reinforces the view that Cooke is there to view and then patronise, not to analyse.