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American Ramble: A Walk of Memory and Renewal

af Neil King

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
927295,746 (4.03)4
Biography & Autobiography. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:

"American Ramble is a dazzling mixture of travelogue, memoir, and history. At times profound, funny, and heartbreaking, this is the story of a traveler intoxicated by life. I couldn't put it down." ?? Nathaniel Philbrick

A stunning, revelatory memoir about a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City??an unforgettable pilgrimage to the heart of America across some of our oldest common ground.

Neil King Jr.'s desire to walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City began as a whim and soon became an obsession. By the spring of 2021, events had intervened that gave his desire greater urgency. His neighborhood still reeled from the January 6th insurrection. Covid lockdowns and a rancorous election had deepened America's divides. Neil himself bore the imprints of a long battle with cancer.

Determined to rediscover what matters in life and to see our national story with new eyes, Neil turned north with a small satchel on his back and one mission in mind: To pay close attention to the land he crossed and the people he met.

What followed is an extraordinary 26-day journey through historic battlefields and cemeteries, over the Mason-Dixon line, past Quaker and Amish farms, along Valley Forge stream beds, atop a New Jersey trash mound, across New York Harbor, and finally, to his ultimate destination: the Ramble, where a tangle of pathways converges in Central Park. The journey travels deep into America's past and present, uncovering forgotten pockets and overlooked people. At a time of mounting disunity, the trip reveals the profound power of our shared ground.

By turns amusing, inspiring, and sublime, American Ramble offers an exquisite account of personal and national renewal??an indelible study of our country as we've never seen it bef… (mere)

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A great travel ramble from Washington D C to New York City, throw in some history, a little philosophy here and there, a very little politics and many interesting connections with people along the way. I wondered at times how he avoided any real danger from crime along the way and he mentioned his being white had probably allowed his being able to be in places without question.
One of my favorite chapters was the one on sauntering. "Walking in a place you'll never go thru again is so different from a daily walk at home, it's like a dramatization of life itself" I liked the quotes from Kant, "I can only meditate when I'm walking" and from Rousseau "When I stop I cease to think". ( )
  EllenH | Jan 8, 2024 |
In April, 2021, journalist Neil King walked from his home in Washington DC to New York City. First of all, it was remarkable that he was able to find a path to walk on. The path he choose took him to many of the key sites in American history. This allows him to turn the story of his walk into a journey back in history and into contemporary American culture. He had planned his walk carefully and had arranged for local experts to meet him along the way who would provide insights into what he was seeing. Even better were his chance encounters with people and the magic they imparted.

The book is beautifully written and reading it is like putting on a cozy old sweater. The book is recommended to anyone interested in walking or in American history and culture. ( )
  M_Clark | Sep 28, 2023 |
I'm a big fan of the travel memoir, and it's been a while since I read one. As many of them are, this one is a nice balance of description and introspection, with a hefty helping of history and philosophy. Neil King embarked on this ramble after the world had been coping with the COVID pandemic for about a year, and he had been coping with personal health challenges, including a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The country was coping with deep divisions and embarking on some pretty revisionist practices. This walk took him from his home in Washington, D.C. -- Political Ground Zero, still reeling from the events at the capitol that January -- into Manhattan, just emerging from the trauma of lockdowns and tens of thousands of deaths. The walk took him through the cradle of American history, past the sites of crucial battles, for the body, mind, and spirit of an infant nation, and into the heart of American culture, for better or for worse. He describes his reception by people he meets along the way, from suspicious and quizzical to generous and welcoming, which also spans the breadth of the American attitude, toward friends and strangers alike. He reflects on all of that, and explores his own gratitude, for surviving all the madness of his world, and having the opportunity to undertake such a journey. It is an educational and inspiring story. ( )
1 stem karenchase | Jul 30, 2023 |
Like I imagine many readers of this book, I ran into Neil King first when he was featured on CBS Sunday Morning June 9, 2023. I immediately went to Amazon and purchased the Kindle version of “American Ramble.” I dove right into it and just finished it today. I’ve read several hundred books in the past few years since I retired from high school English teaching, and I can say that King’s book will go into a special compartment in my “finished reading” trunk. It is, indeed, a special book. King reminds me a little of Thoreau, although Thoreau’s “Walden” seems a little stiff compared with Neil King’s book. King educates us beyond the philosophy of the nature he passed each day he traveled from Washington to New York. He gave us gentle history lessons along the way. Those lessons were invariably peppered with human interest stories and were devoid of the roteness of our school history lessons. The people King ran into along the trip were so entertaining and genuine. And who didn’t Google the Victorian Bed and Breakfast on Taylor Street on Staten Island to see if the place was really as magical as King made it sound? It is. And more. I really loved this book, and I recommend it to any who needs a bit of a break from this world. ( )
1 stem FormerEnglishTeacher | Jul 17, 2023 |
In March 2021 Neil King began walking from his home in Washington DC to New York City. His route took him through farmland, small towns, and suburban sprawl; past natural wonders, historic landmarks, and strip shopping centers. He met people working to make a difference in their communities, and many ordinary folk leading everyday lives. Some regarded him with skepticism, but many more wanted to play a small part in his journey by providing food and water, or assistance navigating a challenging area.

King embarked on this journey in part to learn something of the country’s history and culture, and also to learn more about himself, a recent cancer survivor. Spending time alone outdoors, with none of life’s usual distractions, led to interesting reflection and personal insight.

For me, the initial appeal of this book was King’s route through a region where I’ve spent most of my adult life. I enjoyed his encounters with local history experts and business people, and was fascinated by his visit to a New Jersey landfill. But this book was much more than a travel memoir. King’s day-to-day reflections and the emotional rush upon reaching his destination were quite moving, and the book left me with increased respect for making time for quiet contemplation. ( )
3 stem lauralkeet | Jul 16, 2023 |
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Biography & Autobiography. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:

"American Ramble is a dazzling mixture of travelogue, memoir, and history. At times profound, funny, and heartbreaking, this is the story of a traveler intoxicated by life. I couldn't put it down." ?? Nathaniel Philbrick

A stunning, revelatory memoir about a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City??an unforgettable pilgrimage to the heart of America across some of our oldest common ground.

Neil King Jr.'s desire to walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City began as a whim and soon became an obsession. By the spring of 2021, events had intervened that gave his desire greater urgency. His neighborhood still reeled from the January 6th insurrection. Covid lockdowns and a rancorous election had deepened America's divides. Neil himself bore the imprints of a long battle with cancer.

Determined to rediscover what matters in life and to see our national story with new eyes, Neil turned north with a small satchel on his back and one mission in mind: To pay close attention to the land he crossed and the people he met.

What followed is an extraordinary 26-day journey through historic battlefields and cemeteries, over the Mason-Dixon line, past Quaker and Amish farms, along Valley Forge stream beds, atop a New Jersey trash mound, across New York Harbor, and finally, to his ultimate destination: the Ramble, where a tangle of pathways converges in Central Park. The journey travels deep into America's past and present, uncovering forgotten pockets and overlooked people. At a time of mounting disunity, the trip reveals the profound power of our shared ground.

By turns amusing, inspiring, and sublime, American Ramble offers an exquisite account of personal and national renewal??an indelible study of our country as we've never seen it bef

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