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In this accessible gem of a narrative, Weston makes a special contribution to the conversation (and glut of ethnographies) that seek to describe how the "other half lives." Raised in the working-class outskirts of Chicago and trained as an anthropologist, the author is devoid of condescension or naïve astonishment as she zigzags across the country by bus-one of the last "quasi-public" spaces-swapping advice, snacks, favors, worldviews and nuggets of profound wisdom with her fellow travelers. Within these shared stories, Weston interweaves her own experiences in traveling on a limited budget with acute anthropological analysis. Attuned to the hardships of bus travel (no guaranteed seats after long waits to board, bad food at rest stops, hiked up prices for the poorest travelers ), Weston is also refreshingly self-reflective on her own relative privilege (being white and a citizen, having a credit card). Although her writing occasionally reads like choppy journal entries, her simple observations are marked by a spare grace: "Arrival is not all. Often the road is the thing." This book is a piece of 21st-century Americana in motion, and its characters and cities will resonate and linger with readers. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.