The National Road: Dispatches From a Changing America

Tom Zoellner, Melinda Henneberger
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
6:30 pm
Event Videos

For all of our divisions – underscored in the loud and contentious run-up to Election Day two weeks ago – we draw unity in America from sharing the same land. Journalist Tom Zoellner deftly explores that common denominator, frayed as it might be, in his book The National Road: Dispatches From a Changing America

Zoellner, the politics editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and a teacher at southern California’s Chapman College and Dartmouth, joins The Kansas City Star’s Melinda Henneberger in a discussion of the newly released book in the context of the election. 

The online presentation is co-presented by Rainy Day Books

The National Road is a collection of 13 essays about various places in our country, each dealing with such factious matters as politics, poverty, race, religion, and gender. But Zoellner also observes a stubborn persistence of national pride despite reason for cynicism. An important question lies at the heart of his observations: What does it mean to “belong” in America in a time when rootedness to a particular piece of ground means less than at any time during its history? 

Zoellner, a former reporter for The Arizona Republic and San Francisco Chronicle, is an English professor at Chapman and visiting professor at Dartmouth who has written seven other nonfiction books. Henneberger is an editorial board member and columnist for The Star. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary in 2019 and for editorial writing in 2020. 

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