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Renowned architect Frederick Law Olmstead (designer of NY's Central Park) was a correspondent for the NY Times in his youth and spent months traveling the South in the 1850's trying to get a handle on the tension surrounding slavery and the widening divide happening in America in the decade leading up to the Civil War. When Tony Horwitz stumbled on this historical tidbit, he decided to follow Olmstead's path through the South, since the parallels with 1850's America and 2019's are starkly, frighteningly similar. Have we really spent the last 170 years only to come to stare into the same awful chasm between us? Horwitz (who sadly died just after publication) approaches it all with tremendous humanity and homor - he's long been one of my favorites and a true gem. -seth