Tony Horwitz has ventured to distant quarters on the earth in his varied, marvelous books, including the high seas and Baghdad, He returns to a southern U.S. which he gave us an unforgettable portrait of in Confederates in the Attic with his newest book, Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide (Penguin Press).
“In the long dark years before the Civil War, Frederick Law Olmsted toured the South by stage, by boat, by train, and by foot, reporting on a nation unraveling. Tony Horwitz does much more than follow in Olmsted’s footsteps in this searching travel narrative: he chronicles an American agony, the pain of division, the anguish of uncertainty. But he finds, too, an enduring American spirit of generosity, and commonweal, and curiosity.” —Jill Lepore.
“Two journeys, a hundred and sixty years apart, remind us that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. In the midst of our country’s long-overdue reckoning with symbols of white supremacy, Tony Horwitz retraces the steps of America’s greatest landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, whose encounters with slavery forced him to rethink the role of civic spaces in the American experiment. Horwitz brings home a magnificent account of who we have been and what we might still become.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.