Postmarks from a Political Traveler
Postmarks from a Political Traveler is the name of my new book. It’s final. The button’s been pushed. The wheels are in motion.
It’s due to be out in the Fall courtesy of the folks at Paradigm Publishers and I’m very excited.
Coming up with the right name was no easy task and people have asked me how I got there.
By the long road…
A letter from Thomas Jefferson, written in Paris, on August 10, 1787, to his nephew Peter Carr, in which the future president used the phrase Travel Makes Men Wiser, But Less Happy, sparked the idea of writing a book with the theme of travel as a political act. A few months later, I read Travel as a Political Act (2009), published by Nation Books and written by Rick Steves, television and radio travel guru. Steves’ award winning book, a “how to” narrative for travelers who wish to benefit from cross-cultural experiences and to incorporate the road’s lessons into their everyday political lives, primarily focuses on European destinations. Postmarks from a Political Traveler recounts stories of more off the grid travels to environmental, political and human rights hot spots
Publisher’s Description of Postmarks from a Political Traveler
Postmarks from a Political Traveler is a collection of four travel essays confronting roots and racism, polar bears and climate change, anti-Americanism and the war in Afghanistan. The opening essay, Down at the Blue Lagoon: Reflections on the American South and South Africa, tells of the author’s experience of growing up in the Jim Crow South, traveling in apartheid South Africa, and living in the post-apartheid South Africa of 2009 and 2010. It explores the United States and South Africa’s not so dissimilar roots and racism as well as the cross-fertilization of ideas between our two countries.
Polar Bears, the story of two trips to Churchill, Manitoba, where the planet’s largest population of polar bears congregate each October, recounts the dramatic changes within only a decade in the human and polar bear community.
With global warming at full throttle, the bears have become an Arctic version of the canary in a coalmine.
An Anti-American Age reports the author’s journey back to the United States
on a German freighter captained by a rabidly anti-American. Woven into this account of life aboard a freighter are threads of his travels and anti-American encounters over a decade of living in Africa and Asia.
The final essay, Return to Kabul, chronicles trips to Afghanistan in 2004 and in 2012, describing the effects of war and conflict zone politics on women, education, refugees and aid workers.