A stunning, revelatory memoir about a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City—an unforgettable pilgrimage to the heart of America across some of our oldest common ground.
Neil King Jr.’s desire to walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City began as a whim and soon became an obsession. By the spring of 2021, events had intervened that gave his desire greater urgency: A life-threatening bout with cancer. Political convulsions over a fraught election and our origins as a nation. A pandemic that shut down normal life and made social distance a virtue.
Determined to rediscover what matters in life, King, with only a small satchel of essentials, embarked on a life-changing 25-day journey through historic battlefields and cemeteries, over the Mason-Dixon line, past Quaker and Amish farms, along Valley Forge stream beds, atop a New Jersey trash mound, across New York Harbor, and finally, to his ultimate destination: the Ramble, where a tangle of pathways converge in Central Park. What unfurled is an extraordinary uncovering of America’s past and present, peering into the country’s overlooked regions and people, and, in the midst of extreme political divisions, revealing the profound power of our shared ground.
By turns amusing, inspiring, and sublime, American Ramble offers an exquisite account of personal and national renewal—an indelible study of our country as we’ve never seen it before.
Neil King Jr. is a former national political reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal. He was deeply involved in the coverage of 9/11 that won the Journal the Pulitzer Prize. He has also written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, and other publications. American Ramble is his first book. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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