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Book Title: American Journeys|
The author of the book: Don Watson
Edition: Random House Australia
Date of issue: March 3rd 2008
Loaded: 1307 times
Reader ratings: 5.7
ISBN: No data
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 16.29 MB
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Australia's bestselling author returns with a superb book about his journeys around America - this is travel writing at its very best.
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.
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Read information about the authorWatson grew up on a farm in Gippsland, took his undergraduate degree at La Trobe University and a Ph.D at Monash University and was for ten years an academic historian. He wrote three books on Australian history before turning his hand to TV and the stage. For several years he combined writing political satire for the actor Max Gillies with political speeches for the former Premier of Victoria, John Cain.
In 1992 he became Prime Minister Paul Keating's speech-writer and adviser and his best-selling account of those years, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart': Paul Keating Prime Minister, won both the The Age Book of the Year and non-fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year.
In addition to regular books, articles and essays, in recent years he has also written feature films, including The Man Who Sued God, starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis. His 2001 Quarterly Essay Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America won the inaugural Alfred Deakin Prize in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. Death Sentence, his book about the decay of public language, was also a best seller and won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year. Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words was published in 2004 and continued to encourage readers to renounce what he perceives to be meaningless corporate and government jargon that is spreading throughout Australia and embrace meaningful, precise language. More recently Watson contributed the preface to a selection of Mark Twain's writings, The Wayward Tourist.
His latest book, American Journeys is a narrative of modern America from Watson's travels in the United States following Hurricane Katrina. It was published by Knopf in 2008 and won both the The Age Book of the Year non-fiction and Book of the Year awards.. It also won the 2008 Walkley Award for the best non-fiction book.
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