Dogging Steinbeck: How I went in search of John Steinbeck's America, found my own America, and exposed the truth about 'Travels With Charley'

By Bill Steigerwald

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Bill Steigerwald had a super plan for exhibiting how a lot the USA has replaced within the final part century -- or so he notion. He’d easily retrace the 10,000-mile direction John Steinbeck took round the united states in 1960 for his cherished bestseller Travels With Charley.

Then he’d evaluate the the US he observed with the rustic Steinbeck defined in his vintage highway ebook. but if the intrepid ex-newspaperman from Pittsburgh begun discovering Steinbeck’s journey he exposed a stunning literary scoop. Steinbeck’s iconic nonfiction ebook was once a fraud. Travels With Charley used to be not only jam-packed with fiction. It was once a misleading and cheating account of the nice novelist’s genuine highway journey. Steigerwald made his personal highway journey precisely 50 years after Steinbeck did. Chasing and fact-checking Steinbeck’s ghost for 11,276 miles and forty three days, assembly enormous quantities of standard american citizens, usually sound asleep behind his vehicle in Wal-Mart parking plenty, he drove from Maine to California to Texas.

Despite the good Recession and nationwide headlines dripping with gloom and doom, Steigerwald stumbled on an the United States alongside the Steinbeck street that was once mammoth, empty, wealthy, secure, fresh, filthy rich and pleasant. He didn’t simply reaffirm his religion in the US to resist the lengthy educate of abuse from Washington and Wall highway, even though. He additionally uncovered the half-century-old myths of Travels With Charley, ruffled the PhDs of the country’s most sensible Steinbeck students and compelled “Charley’s” writer to ultimately inform the reality. Steigerwald is a well-traveled journalist and veteran libertarian columnist.

With the spirit of a teenage motive force, a dogged pursuit of the evidence and a fresh viewpoint approximately the US proudly situated within the middle of Flyover state no longer ny, he spins the tale of his journey with Steinbeck’s ghost right into a provocative, news-making and interesting American highway e-book.

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She lived on a highway coated with small, hugely polished, late-1940s California ranch homes – wooden, stucco, no basements, no moment flooring and . 17-acre plenty. Their common rate was once approximately $900,000. Or was, until eventually the housing bubble burst and values fell 20 or 30 or forty percentage. I couldn’t inform which, if any, homes in her local have been in foreclosures or had mortgages that have been underwater, yet every thing appeared Marin County general. The driveways nonetheless had their Audis, BMWs and hybrid SUVs. good-looking canine have been being walked. good-looking childrens have been being swung locally park-let. so long as no house owner misplaced his/her six-figure task or had to speedy circulation out of paradise, nobody had to panic. The Northern California real-estate curler coaster used to be continuously going up and down. you simply need to be cautious, and fortunate, approximately for those who choose to leap off and on the joys journey. sixteen – enjoyable in San Francisco San Francisco wear a convey for me. I observed her around the bay, from the good street that bypasses Sausalito and enters the Golden Gate Bridge. The afternoon sunlight painted her white and gold – emerging on her hills like a noble urban in a cheerful dream. A urban on hills has it over flatland areas. ny makes its personal hills with craning constructions, yet this golden white acropolis emerging wave on wave opposed to the blue of the Pacific sky was once a gorgeous factor, a painted factor like an image of a medieval Italian urban that could by no means have existed. – “Travels With Charley” Steinbeck Timeline Wednesday, Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, 1960 – San Francisco based on urban columnist Herb Caen, the Steinbecks arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday night, Oct. 26, 1960. They socialized with John’s associates and stayed on the posh St. Francis resort downtown via Sunday. He was once interviewed in his suite on Oct. 28 by means of Curt Gentry, a freelancer for the San Francisco Chronicle’s ebook part. Steinbeck Hearts ‘The urban’ San Francisco did not anything unique to seduce John Steinbeck. She has wear a similar wonderful exhibit he defined so good in “Travels With Charley” for hundreds of thousands of people that weren't already in love together with her, as Steinbeck used to be. millions of visitors, day-trippers, photographers, hikers and bicyclists from world wide benefit from the sight of San Francisco from the hills above the north finish of the Golden Gate Bridge each day. whereas I killed every week within the Bay quarter revisiting Steinbeck websites and observing the Giants play the Rangers on the planet sequence, I went to the pinnacle of the Marin Headlands. I were there no less than 20 instances due to the fact that 1974. It was once constantly a deal with and not an identical. info of sunshine and colour range wildly from season to season, day after day, even hour to hour, counting on the whims of clouds, fog, wind and rain. occasionally you could listen the hum of the bridge site visitors some distance lower than, occasionally you can’t even see the bridge. It’s an absurd landscape, an exceptional instance of guy and nature exhibiting off their maximum engineering works and participating at their top – a minimum of till a similar tectonic violence that created all that typical attractiveness destroys it.

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