by Larry Bleiberg | 01.18.10 | 1:19 PM ET
From Atlanta to Washington, D.C., Larry Bleiberg highlights the must-see places where the civil rights leader lived and made history
by Tom Swick | 05.02.06 | 11:33 AM ET
To mark our five-year anniversary, we’re counting down the top 30 travel books of all time, adding a new title each day this month.
Territory covered: The American South
In deceptively simple prose conveying complex insights, the great novelist and travel writer V.S. Naipaul penetrates what may be the most impenetrable region of the United States. And he would seem to be the perfect chronicler of the place: a man who feels he doesn’t belong anywhere amidst people who feel they don’t belong anywhere else. Each of the seven chapters is devoted to a city or town—Atlanta, Charleston, Tallahassee, Tuskegee—and Naipaul is often helped in his understanding of each by a long-time resident who patiently, sagely, shows him around. Telling observations from the author are interspersed with long passages of reported speech. His almost ornithological fascination with spotting a “redneck” is balanced by his steadfast determination to look beyond the stereotypes. The last chapter, on North Carolina tobacco culture, is a masterpiece of meticulous reporting and illuminating reflection.
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