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Reborn in the USA: An Englishman's Love Letter to His Chosen Home

Reborn in the USA: An Englishman's Love Letter to His Chosen Home

by Roger Bennett


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One-half of the celebrated Men in Blazers duo, longtime culture and soccer commentator Roger Bennett traces the origins of his love affair with America, and how he went from a depraved, pimply faced Jewish boy in 1980’s Liverpool to become the quintessential Englishman in New York. A memoir for fans of Jon Ronson and Chuck Klosterman, but with Roger Bennett’s signature pop culture flair and humor.

One of the earliest beliefs that I still cling onto in life, is that I was born a American trapped in an Englishman’s body. That is the kind of story you manufacture about yourself when you grow up in a place like Liverpool in the 1980’s.

Reborn in the USA is Roger Bennett’s homage to an adolescence as a triple outsider (Jewish in largely Catholic Liverpool, middle class in an overwhelmingly working-class community, and obsessed with American culture while his peers tended towards more deviant, borderline hooligan, behavior.) Throw in the fact that his father was a judge who campaigned on behalf of Margaret Thatcher in a town who thought of her as Medusa—the perfect recipe for ostracism. Bennett was happiest when playing chess with his grandfather, watching The Love Boat and Miami Vice, reading his hoarded copies of Rolling Stone, and blasting John Mellencamp’s Scarecrow, Public Enemy’s Yo! Bum Rush the Show, or Tracy Chapman’s debut Fast Car.  An American stuck in his native England.

Bennett gives voice to every teenager who longs to leave their hometown behind, who pines for a different life, and who will do just about anything to escape what makes their formative years awful. In this funny and moving book, he beautifully captures the universality of growing pains, growing up, and growing out of where you come from. And when given the chance to taste the sweet fruit of his dream and travel to the USofA, Bennett expresses the reckless abandon that prevails when youth experiences freedom (and The Beastie Boys) for the first time. Rich with late ’80s and ’90s pop culture references from both sides of the pond—and with Roger’s over-the-top sense of humor—Reborn in the USA is both a truly unique coming-of-age story in the vein of Jon Ronson and Chuck Klosterman and the love letter to America that this country needs right now.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062958693
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/29/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 9,405
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Roger Bennett is a broadcaster and podcaster and half of the duo Men in Blazers. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica.

Table of Contents

Timeline viii

Prologue: Of Hot Wings and Fast Cars 1

Introduction: A Room Full of Strangers 5

Book 1 The Darkness/English ROG

Chapter 1 Amber Waves of … Rain 13

Chapter 2 Spaghetti Scarlet Letter 23

Chapter 3 Bullshit Baffles Brains 31

Chapter 4 Feathered Hair Fantasies 41

Chapter 5 "Just Locker Room Talk" 49

Chapter 6 Think Once, Think Twice … Duck 61

Chapter 7 The Other American Revolution 67

Chapter 8 Bar Mitzvah Disco 73

Chapter 9 The Pepsi Choice 87

Book 2 The Half-Light/Transatlantic ROG

Chapter 10 The King Takes America 101

Chapter 11 Fat Knacker's Words of Wisdom 107

Chapter 12 The Funky Chicken 113

Chapter 13 Like a Rolling Stone 123

Chapter 14 Crockett's Theme 135

Chapter 15 My American Twin 147

Chapter 16 Super Bowl Shuffle 159

Chapter 17 The Goers Go 163

Book 3 The Light/American ROG

Chapter 18 Beef, Democracy, and Freedom 175

Chapter 19 Game Show Winner 179

Chapter 20 On Glencoe Beach 185

Chapter 21 Don't You … Forget About Me 191

Chapter 22 Midnight with the Fridge 195

Chapter 23 The End Is the Beginning 203

Chapter 24 New Rog in Town 209

Chapter 25 The Transformation of Titty Thomson 217

Chapter 26 Leveling Up 223

Chapter 27 Bigmouth Strikes 231

Chapter 28 Liverpool College Breaking Crew 243

Chapter 29 The Big Show 257

Chapter 29 The Wake-up Bell 269

Chapter 30 The Beastie Boys and the Liverpool Welcome 279

Chapter 31 We've Got to Make a Decision 291

Epilogue 301

Acknowledgments 313

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