By Jan Morris
Clean from her profitable scoop reporting the 1st ascent of Everest in 1953, Jan Morris spent a yr touring around the usa, through vehicle, teach, send and aeroplane. In herwords a "period piece", Coast to Coast describes an American id markedly various from this present day. In her very good prose, Morris files with exuberence and interest a time of innocence within the US - whilst tv was once in its infancy, the large Mac had now not been invented and the preferred tune of the day was once "Chattanooga Choo-Choo".
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Additional info for Coast to Coast. A Journey Across 1950s America
I found an America bursting with bright optimism, generous, unpretentious, proud of its recent victories, basking in universal popularity but still respectful of older cultures. I did not know it then, and nor did America, but chance had brought me across the Atlantic at the very apex of American happiness. I doubt if there has ever been a society, in the history of the world, more attractive than this republic in the decade after the Second World War. Of course it had its downsides. Crime and corruption was rampant.
Can you wonder that Coast to Coast was written in enjoyment? That year’s wandering in America, in the prime of my youth, through a country so buoyant with success and generosity, was one of the very best presents of my whole life. I have been back there every year since, and if the United States of America is not always so beguiling today, is not always regarded around the world with the same grateful affection, nevertheless I love it still, and look back to my first journeys there as to a dream of young times and aspirations.
The waiters press you to eat more, you look so thin. The girl in the drug store asks pertly but very politely if she may borrow the comic section of your newspaper. On the skating rink at Rockefeller Center there is always something pleasant to see; pretty girls showing off their pirouettes; children staggering about in helpless paroxysms; an old eccentric sailing by with a look of profoundest contempt on his face; an elderly lady in tweeds excitedly arm-in-arm with an instructor. Boundless vivacity and verve are the inspiration of Manhattan.
Coast to Coast. A Journey Across 1950s America by Jan Morris