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This Land: America, Lost and Found

This Land: America, Lost and Found

by Dan Barry


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A landmark collection by New York Times journalist Dan Barry, selected from a decade of his distinctive "This Land" columns and presenting a powerful but rarely seen portrait of America.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and on the eve of a national recession, New York Times writer Dan Barry launched a column about America: not the one populated only by cable-news pundits, but the America defined and redefined by those who clean the hotel rooms, tend the beet fields, endure disasters both natural and manmade. As the name of the president changed from Bush to Obama to Trump, Barry was crisscrossing the country, filing deeply moving stories from the tiniest dot on the American map to the city that calls itself the Capital of the World.

Complemented by the select images of award-winning Times photographers, these narrative and visual snapshots of American life create a majestic tapestry of our shared experience, capturing how our nation is at once flawed and exceptional, paralyzed and ascendant, as cruel and violent as it can be gentle and benevolent.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316415514
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,067,713
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Dan Barry is a journalist and author of The Boys in the Bunkhouse and Bottom of the 33rd. Among his many journalistic honors are a share of a Pulitzer Prize; a George Polk Award; an American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for deadline reporting (for coverage of the first anniversary of 9/11); a Mike Berger Award for in-depth human interest reporting; and the PEN/ESPN Literary Award for Sports Writing. He lives with his family in Maplewood, N.J.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Change

After The Ball Is Over, After The Break Of Dawn

A Way of Life, Seen Through Coal-Tinted Glasses 9

A Teenage Soldier's Goodbyes on the Road to Over There 13

In a Town Called Bill, a Boomlet of Sorts 16

Silence Replaces Bids and Moos at Stockyards in Suburbs 21

Far Removed and Struggling, but Still a Piece of America 25

At a School in Kansas, a Moment Resonates 29

On the Bow'ry 33

Annie and Gloria 41

A Bypassed Small Town Makes a Visual Statement: Here We Are 47

Sewers, Curfews and a Ban on Gay Bias 51

Storied Providence Skyscraper, Now Empty, Seeks a Future 57

At the End, Divide Between Clinton and Trump Is Only a Manhattan Mile 61

Another Day at a Monument to Democracy 65

Part 2 Hope

Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland

Planning a Path Through Life on the Walk to School 71

Where Little Else Grows, Capitalism Takes Root 74

For a Family of Migrant Farmworkers, a New Season Is Dawning 77

On the Bottle, Off the Streets, Halfway There 80

Amid Ruin of Flint, Seeing Hope in a Garden 85

A Dealer Serving Life Without Having Taken One 89

On a Trip to Fenway, Only the Game Was Meaningless 94

A Force of Labor and of Politics in Las Vegas Hotels 99

A Refugee Home, Furnished in Joy 105

Part 3 Misdeeds

Here You Have Your Morning Papers, All About The Crimes

A Rough Script of Life, if Ever There Was One 113

Death in the Chair, Step by Remorseless Step 117

A Violation of Both the Law and the Spirit 121

A Name and Face No One Knew, but Never Forgot 124

Facts Mix with Legend on the Road to Redemption 129

An Old Mobster Lets Go of a Long-Kept Secret 133

A World Away from Wall Street, a Bank and a Robber 137

Broken Trust Shakes Web from Farmer to Cow 141

In Prison, Playing Just to Kill Time and Just Maybe to Help Solve a Murder 146

The Holdup: A Mobster, a Family and the Crime That Won't Let Them Go 151

Part 4 Intolerance

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

Yes, the Ill Will Can Be Subtle. Then, One Day, It Isn't 169

The Names Were Separated, Though the Lives Collided 173

A Time of Hope, Marred by an Act of Horror 177

Police, Protesters and Reporters Form Uneasy Cast for Nightly Show in Ferguson 181

A Quiet Act of Decency Soars over Messages of Hate 185

Realizing It's a Small, Terrifying World After All 189

Ranchers Say Wall Won't Help Chaos at Border 193

Part 5 Hard Times

Hard Times, Hard Times, Come Again No More

Tending the Boulevards of Broken Dreams 201

Financial Foot Soldiers, Feeling the Weight of the World 205

At an Age for Music and Imagination, Real Life Is Intruding 209

In a City Under Strain, Ladling Out Fortification 214

After Lifetimes Selling Pontiacs, Feeling Sold Out 219

Under Gavel, Where Loss Transforms into Gain 223

Donna's Diner: At the Corner of Hope and Worry 227

Part 6 Nature

The Beautiful, The Beautiful River

A Hand-to-Hand Struggle with a Raging River 243

Learning to Love the Sea, Then Torn from It 247

As the Mountaintops Fall, a Coal Town Vanishes 251

Losing Everything, Except What Really Matters 261

Ready, Aim, Fireworks! 265

In Fuel Oil Country, Cold That Cuts to the Heart 269

Part 7 Grace

Ahi Sweet Mystery Of Life

He Befriended a Serial Killer, and Opened the Door to God 277

20,000 Days Down the Road, a Night on the Path 280

A Story of Exile and Union Few Are Left to Tell 284

Burlesque Days Again for the Feather Boa Crowd 288

Seeking God's Help for a Wounded Gulf 293

Passion Play in Rural Florida Endures Time's Many Trials 297

The Boy Who Became Judy Garland 303

Not Official, but Still a Wisconsin Pardon 311

Finding Independence, and a Bond 315

Part 8 The Ever-Present Past

Shine Little Glow-Worm, Glimmer, Glimmer

Restoring Dignity to Sitting Bull, Wherever He Is 325

Between Kentucky and Ohio, Hard Feelings over a Rock's Place 329

Holding Firm Against Plots by Evildoers 333

Keeping Alive Memories That Bedevil Him 337

From New Deal to New Hard Times, Eleanor Endures 341

Dust Is Gone Above the Bar, but a Legend Still Dangles 349

What We Kept 353

A Town Won't Let Go of a Coin-Drop Line to the Past 357

Restoring Lost Names, Recapturing Lost Dignity 363

Still Standing, Precariously 369

A Ranger, a Field and the Flight 93 Story Retold 375

A Trip Down Obama Highway in an Old Dixie Town 379

Epilogue: In the Middle of Nowhere, a Nation's Center 385

Acknowledgments 389

Photography Credits 391

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