@BOOK Ã Deep South : Four Seasons on Back Roads ì eBook or E-pub free

Long time Paul Theroux fan here Theroux is so good that after reading this book I traveled back home to Alabama and found I was remembering experiences as if they came from the book and not from my own experiences growing up there from age 0 to 23 I actually had to think, wait, no, what, I know this place, a catfish house for instance, from my own life not from this book I found the criticism and the complements to the South accurate And just in case I get branded a carpet bagger here, yes, I was somewhat annoyed that a damn Yankee could write so well about the South, but lemme tell ya ll, he did it and and did it right. @BOOK ì Deep South : Four Seasons on Back Roads ð Paul Theroux Takes Us On A Riveting Journey Into The Heart Of The South, America S Other Country Travelling Through North And South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama And Arkansas, He Writes Of The Stunning Landscapes He Discovers The Deserts, The Mountains, The Mississippi And Above All, The Lives Of The People He Meets Accompanied By Arresting Photographs By Award Winning Photographer Steve McCurry As a native Southerner in my 60 s I found this book to be sympathetic and insightful Mr Thoreaux did not disparage the rural lower class residents of the South, but sought to understand their frustration with the changes wrought in their life Factories were moved to Mexico or other countries Longtime jobs were lost and there were no alternatives Wealthy people and politicians sent millions of dollars in aid to foreign countries while they received no help Jobs were gone, health care was hard to come by, education had bypassed many, and they felt increasing vilified by the modern world Blacks in the South wanted to farm and get loans, but had to meet impossible demands from the government agencies I didn t read racism into every chapter It was sadness and loss Mr Thoreaux obviously loved his time in the Deep South and appreciated the people even the difficult people His portrayal of church services was exactly as it is And there were no demeaning comments He enjoyed his time with the people in the churches In other words, most the most part, he understood Southerners This is a valuable book that should be read by people of all political persuasions and living in all areas of the country. This was a very good read, on balance Theroux is a sort of gold standard for travel writing, of course In this work he crosses Dixie from the Carolinas to Arkansas focusing on the Black Belt all the way He does here what he does in his other works he listens and listens and listens He truly lets his people speak, and in this way we come to hear them, sense them, as he would have us to In this work, perhaps than in his others that I have read, he shows both empathy and sympathy for those he visits And he should The world he sees is dreadful The brave new world of globalization has meant that jobs in the rural South have all but disappeared The towns are left behind with pathetically small budgets for police, teachers, fire fighters, etc Those who could leave have done so Those left behind are clearly suffering Segregation is every bit as strong as it was fifty years ago There are, of course, some bright lights He interviews some community organizers, some NGO types who are doing their level best to uplift the downtrodden He meets some wonderful people who show lots of patience and take lots of time to explain aspects of local history to him and who refuse to be downtrodden by events of their lives He hears a lot about the horrors of Jim Crow But in the end I came away with an overall sense of gloom I lived long in Dixie I have seen many of the places Theroux describes I suppose like most Americans I sort of thought the uprising of the sixties and early seventies would somehow put things right, set things straight and get us moving into a new world of acceptance It hasn t happened in huge swaths of territory below the Mason Dixon Line, and in truth I wonder if it has happened as often as it should above it Theroux often wonders where Bill Gates and the Clintons are in all this Millions and millions of dollars go to Africa each year How about Alabama It s a reasonable query. Paul Theroux has spent some five decades traveling around and writing about the world, often alternating between novels e.g The Mosquito Coast and travel literature e.g The Happy Isles of Oceania However, the only time he s written about traveling in America, to my knowledge, was in the first part of The Old Patagonian Express 1979 , where he chugs from Boston to the Mexican border on his way to Central and South America In 2012 3, properly ensconced as the godfather of travel writing debatably, the best undeniably, the most prolific , Theroux explores the southern United States, aspects of which he finds nearly as exotic and bizarre as features of India or Africa.To start, we get a rationale and something of a literature review summaries of American travel narratives, with praise, and a criticism of what Theroux calls the mock ordeal Writers often groan about the agonies of traveling in the USA, even on excellent highways and in first world conditions, so the narrator indicates he ll be skipping his imagined tribulation to examine the lives of everyday people The author wants to talk to the submerged twenty percent, folks obscured by the smallness of their southern towns, while exploring topics he finds intriguing racism, poverty, inequality, gun culture, slavery, college football, religion, violence, identify, hospitality, and so on.Theroux s a keen ethnographer, and perhaps because he s in an English speaking country his own he does something he often doesn t do in his other travelogues he lets plenty of people speak, so we get a spectrum of views on a wide range of topics plus snippets of history, Paul s trademark flare for description and humour, and references to everything from psychology to anthropology all rendered in an erudite, yet breezy and accessible style Indeed, the writing is beautiful crisp and fresh albeit seemingly pre existing, as if the writer has discovered these stories etched into panels of marble and just dusted away the grit and debris so we can see what was hiding underneath And the book does what it s supposed to takes you along for the ride I ve read ten of Paul Theroux s travel books, and would rate Deep South as among his best.Troy Parfitt is the author of War Torn Adventures in the Brave New Canada A well written but essentially dishonest book, the dishonesty being the result of an imbalance It s clear Theroux had a vision of the south and southerners, whites in particular, before he made his excursions In the course of his wandering he appears to have purposely went looking for or only reports those encounters that support his prejudices The vast majority of people he spends time with are either minorities blacks, native Americans, or what he calls dot Indians from India or whites he meets at gun shows From the minorities he extracts anecdotal stories and selected histories in support of racial prejudice, while the gun show visits allow him to present a somewhat narrow slice of southern men and women who conform to a view of them as gun mad bubbas.Anyone both honest about and familiar with the south would have to admit there is truth in what Theroux writes He does not deal in out and out falsehoods rather he misleads by leaving out He mentions that progress has been made and even touches on the phenomenon of northern blacks returning to the South because it represents a vast improvement over their lives in places like Chicago or Detroit But he skims over this fascinating, revealing, and remarkable bit of history quickly and lightly No where in the book do you get a true impression of the substantial and positive changes that have taken place in the South Rather you get concentrated doses of its past history and the remnants of that history that indeed still remain.As I say, the books is dishonest because of its imbalance One quits it, or at least I did, with a desire to say to Theroux Yes, yes, all you have chosen to say is true as far as it goes but why didn t you give the other side of the story equal time and emphasis While there remain problems in the South, there is also much to admire in the way it has attempted to reform itself It is in fact a better, tolerant, hopeful place than much of the rust belt north, or even Theroux s home state It s a shame, and venal of Theroux, to begin by pretending to liking the South and then to go on for over 400 pages not so subtly undermining it.