For Inside U.S.A., John Gunther set out from California and traveled the entire country. His frank, lucid observations along the way - on race relations, labor, the Tennessee Valley Authority, farm life, the politics of the big cities, and much else - yield fascinating insight into life fifty years ago. Now, on the brink of the millennium, this fiftieth anniversary edition of Inside U.S.A. provides an invaluable picture of America as it was then, both for those old enough to remember it and for young people who may be astonished to see the ways the country has changed.
Fiftieth Edition,Anniversary Edition
New Press, The
New Press, The
New Press, The
New Press, The
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
John Gunther's INSIDE U.S.A. comes as close to time travel as we are likely to get, hurling us back to the America of 1947, as he explores, state by state, the people, politics, issues, passions and fads that make up our country. Written with great energy and insight, Gunther captures an America justly proud of its WWII success, still unsure of its role in the world, and populated by fascinating characters like Mayor LaGuardia of New York, Governor Saltonstall of Massachusetts and Boss Hague of Jersey City. Gunther describes regional characteristics that persist today. He captures aspects of America that are gone,l never to return (an "industrial" nation based on coal, iron ore and steel.) And he foresees issues that dog America to this day -- the "Negro problem" (actually, the "White problem.") He condemns the segregationist society he finds in America, so inconsistent with its lofty ideals. As you can tell, I loved this book. It's very hefty --...
My parents were WW2 era, my mom graduating high school in 1942 just in time to go off to war with my dad. Their journey is the story of another day (perhaps one I will write) but now that they are gone, we have the archaeological evidence of the world they lived in. Old shellac 78 rpm records, souvenirs bought dear by a soldier's wife, an E for excellence pin. My dad kept photos of warplanes by the dozens, in neatly arranged albums, old letters and postcards and sheet music and newspapers from VE and VJ day, now nearly dust after all these years.
But I can touch a match to a lamp that will illumine that all important era any time by opening and reading from this book. John Gunther writes with a prose style filled with some kind of inner courage that is rare in today's reportage. He goes for the throat and he finds it--traveling all forty eight states in the USA of 1947. Issues come up again and again, Home rule for DC, Interstate rail tariff, Lend Lease, racism, land...
If you have not read John Gunther's "Inside U.S.A.", you are in for a real treat. It is like taking a journey across America where Gunther's sense of the present and knowledge of the local environments is hard to rival. Perhaps the most striking aspects of the 1947 tour is how much each State has changed.
Gunther's tour of post war America is a must read for anyone interested in US History or for that matter, their individual States. For me it was striking to see how much my native California has changed. In my case, it was a picture of what we have lost in the last 50 years.
I loved "Inside U.S.A" so much that I ended up getting "Inside Africa", "Inside Europe" and "Inside Asia". Gunther's work has no rivals.
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