collage of R.V. and map

American Journey

A journal of my road trip to the formative decades of American history.

I recently finished a manuscript for a book about the first six decades of the 19th century. The book argues that as that century began, the United States remained unscripted — an experiment, a speculation. Then, with startling speed, through unlikely characters and scenes, the new nation improvised a politics, economy, and culture that would define the United States for centuries to come.

While I was editing the book, my wife and I set out to see how Americans today remember that formative era. Below, you’ll find my dispatches about the ways in which stories from that time are — and are not — being told in the places where they took place. New installments in the series will be published here as they are completed.

To explore these stories via Bunk's map interface, click here.