Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land

Spying on the South Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land Beloved best selling author Tony Horwitz retraces Frederick Law Olmsted s epic journey across the American South in the s as he too searches for common ground in a dangerously riven nation On the

  • Title: Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land
  • Author: Tony Horwitz
  • ISBN: 1984888641
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Beloved best selling author Tony Horwitz retraces Frederick Law Olmsted s epic journey across the American South in the 1850s, as he too searches for common ground in a dangerously riven nation.On the eve of the Civil War, an up and coming newspaper, the New York Times, sent a young travel writer to explore the South, which was alien territory to the Connecticut Yankee cor Beloved best selling author Tony Horwitz retraces Frederick Law Olmsted s epic journey across the American South in the 1850s, as he too searches for common ground in a dangerously riven nation.On the eve of the Civil War, an up and coming newspaper, the New York Times, sent a young travel writer to explore the South, which was alien territory to the Connecticut Yankee correspondent and to his Northern readers Identified in the paper as Yeoman, to protect his identity, the writer roamed eleven states and six thousand miles, jolting the nation with his dispatches about slavery and the extremism of its defenders.This extraordinary journey would also re shape the nation s landscape, driving Yeoman real name Frederick Law Olmsted to embark on his career as America s first and foremost architect of urban parks and other public spaces.Over a century and half later, there are echoes of the pre Civil War in the angry ferment and fracturing of our own time Is America still one country Tony Horwitz, like Olmsted a Yankee and roving scribe, sets forth to find out by retracing Yeoman s journey through the South Following his route and whenever possible his mode of transport rail, riverboats, in the saddle Horwitz travels Appalachia, down the Ohio and Mississippi, through Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and across Texas to the Rio Grande Venturing, as Olmsted did, far off the beaten paths, Horwitz discovers colorful traces of an old weird America, shocking vestiges of the Cotton Kingdom, and strange new mutations that have sprung from its roots.The result is a masterpiece in the tradition of Great Plains, Bad Land, and the author s own classic, Confederates in the Attic Spying on the South is an intrepid, wise, and frequently hilarious expedition through an outsized landscape and its equally outsized state of mind It is also a probing and poignant study of the young Olmsted, whose own life, and thinking about landscape and society, would be forever altered by his Southern odyssey Get A Copy Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryAlibrisIndigoBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Audio CD Published May 14th 2019 by Penguin Audiobooks More Details ISBN 1984888641 ISBN13 9781984888648 Other Editions 2 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail Edit Details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Spying on the South, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Really sorry to hear Tony Horwitz has passed away while on tour for this book I really enjoyed his book A Voyage Long and Strange and hope to read his book about Captain Cook also I am thinking his death was unexpected like 3 months ago Add your answer Leslie Ray From what I have read it sounds like it was unexpected.I read in a New York Times article that he was walking in Chevy Chase, MD and collapsed He was From what I have read it sounds like it was unexpected.I read in a New York Times article that he was walking in Chevy Chase, MD and collapsed He was declared dead at the hospital The family said that it was sudden cardiac arrest How sad as he was only 60 years old less flag Is this just a remake of Confederates in the Attic That might not be bad, since I loved that book But does it rise to that level like 3 months ago See all 2 answers Mark Seeley It is not a remake of Confederates In The Attic It is a travelogue to be sure, but he follows the path of a real, historic person pre Civil War and It is not a remake of Confederates In The Attic It is a travelogue to be sure, but he follows the path of a real, historic person pre Civil War and compares it to today Spying on the South is an appropriate title he is of sorts spying on a culture I think he perceives as odd It has very funny parts but I think, contra to Jessica, less nuanced and condescending less flag See 2 questions about Spying on the South Lists with This Book Task 5 ReadHarder 2019 154 books 42 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 4.08 Rating details 797 ratings 174 reviews All LanguagesEnglish 172 More filters Sort order May 31, 2019 Leslie Ray rated it liked it review of another edition Tony Horowitz follows the path of Frederick Olmsted, who was a writer for the then, New York Daily Times, who wrote about his trips to the South, in the 1850 s Olmsted made 2 trips, of which Horowitz chose to follow the second journey that took place in 1853 4 This 2nd trip from Maryland through West Virginia, on the Mississippi River through Louisiana and finally to Texas, was the one that this book follows as the author manages to seek out, in some cases, the most idiosyncratic and eccentric Tony Horowitz follows the path of Frederick Olmsted, who was a writer for the then, New York Daily Times, who wrote about his trips to the South, in the 1850 s Olmsted made 2 trips, of which Horowitz chose to follow the second journey that took place in 1853 4 This 2nd trip from Maryland through West Virginia, on the Mississippi River through Louisiana and finally to Texas, was the one that this book follows as the author manages to seek out, in some cases, the most idiosyncratic and eccentric people in his travels He does treat everyone with respect, but does provide parallels from that time period to the divided nation of today I enjoyed the book but wished he had followed Olmsted s first journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and through to Texas I would have liked to have read of his adventures in these states flag 24 likesLike see review View all 5 comments May 22, 2019 H P rated it really liked it Shelves non fiction I love Tony Horwitz s nonfiction He has a simple formula he picks some interesting, underappreciated bit of history, then explores the modern day geography The result is a mix of travelogue and history as Horwitz interweaves his own adventures with the history His best known work is Confederates in the Attic, and I was beyond overjoyed when I saw that he was returning to the South.Spying on the South retraces the steps of Frederick Olmstead on a pre Civil War trip through the South It wasn I love Tony Horwitz s nonfiction He has a simple formula he picks some interesting, underappreciated bit of history, then explores the modern day geography The result is a mix of travelogue and history as Horwitz interweaves his own adventures with the history His best known work is Confederates in the Attic, and I was beyond overjoyed when I saw that he was returning to the South.Spying on the South retraces the steps of Frederick Olmstead on a pre Civil War trip through the South It wasn t my focus or his, but Horwitz s portrait of a young Olmstead, well before his days as a famed landscape artists, is delightful Horwitz alternates historical tidbits with his own misadventures I said travelogue, but that undersells it How many travelogues include one leg by coal barge and another by mule The real joy of these sections are the people Horwitz meets along the way He treats them with dignity and humanity, and their disparate stories will do far to flesh out hillbillies and white working class Americans for the person who entry to the field was Hillbilly Elegy than a work like, say, Appalachian Reckoning.I should make clear, though, that this is not a work that primarily focuses on hillbillies Horwitz starts in West Virginia, but he also spends time in Kentucky, Tennessee, along the Mississippi, in Louisiana, Texas, and on the Texas Mexico border I was disappointed to learn that Horwitz only covers the there not the back again of Olmstead s second trip He leaves out, then, stops in Chattanooga, Asheville, and Abingdon that would have been of particular interest to me And I loved the book, but the West Virginia chapter makes me really wish Horwitz had written a book on Appalachia and the Rust Belt instead.Olmstead made his journeys through the South a mere decade before the Civil War It wasn t a pleasure trip he sent regular dispatches back to New York for newspaper publication, and he collected and edited those dispatches into a three volume book since Horwitz skips the return journey with its long leg through Appalachia, I m going to pick up the third volume, A Journey in the Back Country Olmstead intended to foster dialogue in a country sharply divided instead he came to see the South as intransigent and became radicalized he would later moderate and arguably betray his principles by designed segregated spaces in the South.As the subtitle suggests, Horwitz also takes an odyssey across the American divide His experience writing Confederates in the Attic notwithstanding, Horwitz is open about how little he knows about the territory he covers, especially Texas The people he meets are very much foreign to him culturally, politically, and economically.Spying on the South seems well timed, and it is, but it isn t directly a response to Trump Horwitz sets off on his journey in West Virginia before the 2016 primaries even started As the narrative and timeline progress, Trump begins to intrude, but Horwitz does an admirable job not using him as a crutch.This is Horwitz s most political and most pessimistic book, but it still has everything that makes his other books so special The coal barge highlights a good living for country boys where they can still work from the neck down A sojourn at a weekend devoted to mudding and Horwitz s misadventures on a mule are enormously entertaining Horwitz humanizes the people of the Red States he crosses throughout Among other things, Horwitz s narrative highlights the cultural diversity of the Red States West Virginia is very different than Cajun Louisiana is very different than rural east Texas is very different from the Texas Mexico border The focus is rural, with cities like Nashville and Houston getting short shrift The economic contrast between the rural Appalachia and South and the cities of Texas is stark.Horwitz works hard to see the best in people, but the South has an ugly history with race, in a place where the past is never dead It s not even past Horwitz goes on plantation tours that somehow manage to avoid any mention of slavery in Mississippi and is subjected to racial slurs by Texans who insist there is a camp of Muslim insurgents in their rural county Horwitz, who worked extensively in the Middle East as a journalist, offers to go check it out His story of a slaveholder who attempted to join in political reform after the Civil War ends in the slaughter of dozens of African Americans.Spying on the South may not be Horwitz s most enjoyable book, but it is his most relevant to what I am doing here It is the sort of book that the working class curious neophyte ought to read, and early Even if you aren t so culturally conscious, you are sure to learn something from the history side flag 17 likesLike see review Aug 23, 2019 Diane S rated it really liked it Shelves 5000 2019, lor 2019 Reading this last book by Horowitz was bittersweet, and since he narrated his own book it was even special Following a journey by Frederick Olmstead that he had undertaken between 1852 through 1857 through our southern states, Tony sets out to duplicate this journey as much as was possible Olmstead took this journey to investigate the slave economy, dispatches he sent back to the Times.So in between quotes from Olmstead on his discoveries, we see how much of how little things have changed Reading this last book by Horowitz was bittersweet, and since he narrated his own book it was even special Following a journey by Frederick Olmstead that he had undertaken between 1852 through 1857 through our southern states, Tony sets out to duplicate this journey as much as was possible Olmstead took this journey to investigate the slave economy, dispatches he sent back to the Times.So in between quotes from Olmstead on his discoveries, we see how much of how little things have changed in the intervening years As you can imagine much had changed, buildings gone or renovated, previous occupations no longer viable, but Tony dies a great job following his journey as he could Traveling on the Ohio River by barge, visiting towns, Olmstead had visited, plantations or at least the land where they once stood, San Antonio and the Alamo, Arcadia Southern Louisiana, comparing Olmsteads reflections with his own.It was the people he talked too, he has the knack of asking the right questions to elicit honest answers, that I most enjoyed Needless to say in this country if our he ran into some real characters A man who talked him into going out to the river swamp at night to try to shoot bars with a crossbow Hard can reach up to six feet and have huge, sharp teeth and an impaling protuberance on their face The food he described and the effects of eating such was also humorous There was much humor here, but none so both funny and frightening as the mule trip through the hill country in Texas that he took on mule with an irascible handler named Buck Parts just had me giggling I also appreciated that he, for the most part, kept his personal opinions out of his discoveries, trusting that the reader was able to form their own opinions That we are a nation divided by thoughts, beliefs, and the wanted role of our government, a nation of differing opinions is without doubt After reading this I am convinced of this than ever A truly satisfying, informative and entertaining read ARC from Edelweiss flag 64 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Daniel Chaikin Enjoyed your review Sounds like this might be one of his best books Bittersweet indeed updated Sep 02, 2019 09 41PM Susanne Strong Wonderful review Diane Sep 02, 2019 08 59PM Apr 29, 2019 Bruce Katz rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves american history I could have gone to a 4 but really, 3 means I liked it, so I ll leave it like that Horwitz is a fine companion as he follows in the pre civil war footsteps of Frederick Law Olmstead through the South Olmstead was archly anti slavery He traveled the south as a correspondent for what was then the New York Daily Times, trying to understand the people who defended slavery and seemed to live in such a different world than his Later, of course, he became the country s foremost landscape archit I could have gone to a 4 but really, 3 means I liked it, so I ll leave it like that Horwitz is a fine companion as he follows in the pre civil war footsteps of Frederick Law Olmstead through the South Olmstead was archly anti slavery He traveled the south as a correspondent for what was then the New York Daily Times, trying to understand the people who defended slavery and seemed to live in such a different world than his Later, of course, he became the country s foremost landscape architect though he hated the term and became world renowned as the creator of New York City s Central Park Horwitz has a similar objective as he makes his way through modern polarized America, trying to explore what has changed since Olmstead s days , what echoes, and what truly remains I enjoyed the book, as I have others Horwitz has written, but I felt him less than successful in shedding any light on the southern mind, new or old Unsurprisingly, he encountered some truly interesting another reader might prefer audacious, idiosyncratic, or odd, or just plain truly f ed up characters Several really stand out, but I think my favorite are the people he met at a monster truck mud course That, I m certain, will be an experience Horwitz will long remember along with the ill fated mule riding adventure But the parallel treks never quite coalesce into a revealing depiction of southern culture, at least not for me The book struck me as a bit too peripatetic Nor was the integration of his own experiences with those of Olmstead as seamless and revealing as I would have hoped I came away with a strong feeling that he learned a lot in his travels than he was able to express He recently had an article in the Times with the headline, Can Bar Stool Democracy Save America I hope to see such pieces.As I said, though, Horwitz is a fun guide, self deprecating, smart, and adventurous His adventures were fun to read And I have to admit, he s a lot braver than I am.Addendum Sadly, Tony Horwitz passed away on May 27 He will be missed flag 13 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Jul 05, 2019 Christine rated it it was amazing Shelves race issues, history america, 2019, politics, travel, reporting America lost something great when Tony Horowitz died in May 2019 When you read this book, you are made painfully aware of that fact Horowitz possessed not only ability to get people to talk to and with him, but also to capture them on the page Reading this book, you realize how rare and powerful that skill is Spying on the South is on one level a recreation of Frederick Olmstead s journey to report on the South prior to the Civil War Much of it was done during the 2016 election, and, theref America lost something great when Tony Horowitz died in May 2019 When you read this book, you are made painfully aware of that fact Horowitz possessed not only ability to get people to talk to and with him, but also to capture them on the page Reading this book, you realize how rare and powerful that skill is Spying on the South is on one level a recreation of Frederick Olmstead s journey to report on the South prior to the Civil War Much of it was done during the 2016 election, and, therefore, the book also shows the divided country His journey starts on Amtrak s Capitol limited which follows the old BO route The reader is quickly treated to a wonderful conversation with Donald Handy, a salesman who not only is a good salesman but also compares writing to his work In West Virginia, Horowitz examines the coal industry, and how coal, or perhaps the memory of coal, still runs the state He includes as well the men who run the ships who move the coal What Horowitz does in the book is capture what people say and think, but with a minimum of judgement This is perfectly done in the section about coal where Horowitz represents the declining coal industry as well as the desperation of those who used to work in The great thing about Horowitz is that he is able to change the stereotype that many people have of the South and of the North because he represents the North He shows us a West Virginian who points out that coal is a legacy of exploitation and is a class issue He is upset and worried that his state is ruled by coal, that in some ways they have given up their independence There are Texans who point out the those at the Alamo were the illegal immigrants of their day and that it is something we should remember His even handed approach is so prevalent that when the word bigoted is used to describe someone s rhetoric, it stands out It makes the description powerful because it is used so sparingly One of the most interesting and telling aspects of Horowitz s trip is when he boards the American Queen, a tourist cruise boat that goes down the Mississippi river The cruise includes day trips to plantations and most strangely, disturbingly to Angola Prison The reflection of how many, not all but many, of the stops gloss over slavery as well as the sense of a caste system on the boat take up much of this section and raise some very good points about how we cover history This conflict about reality and history also includes forgotten massacres that are remembered but not really, including people in Texas who were actually pro Union and killed for it during the Civil War When you reach the end of this book, you are left wishing Horowitz was still alive to write because while he records the bad, he also records the good and that gives us hope flag 8 likesLike see review May 30, 2019 Jessica rated it it was amazing review of another edition I had 12 pages to go in Spying on the South when my best friend texted me that Tony Horwitz had died I m so sorry I know you loved him I loved him too I was going to lend her the pre publication copy I d gotten through I ll still send it to her but she will have to give it back It s marked up and underlined with stars and exclamation points in the margins I circled places Olmstead had passed through where I d lived before and places I want to go to some day I d scribbled in th I had 12 pages to go in Spying on the South when my best friend texted me that Tony Horwitz had died I m so sorry I know you loved him I loved him too I was going to lend her the pre publication copy I d gotten through I ll still send it to her but she will have to give it back It s marked up and underlined with stars and exclamation points in the margins I circled places Olmstead had passed through where I d lived before and places I want to go to some day I d scribbled in the margins comments about what made the book such a joy it has something to do with Horwitz teaching us how to be curious and truly listen for clues about what it means to be a community, what it means to be a country of United States flag 7 likesLike see review Jun 07, 2019 Angus McKeogh rated it really liked it review of another edition Another really great read Two in a row Delves into the underlying psyche and current of the Southern culture Similarities and differences between the present and the time of the Civil War Demonstrates how some things, ideas, and ethics within the culture show very little progress from the attitudes that existed during the Civil War Horwitz shadows Olmsted s trek through the South in the 1850s It s expected how much has changed and it s telling how much hasn t flag 5 likesLike see review May 02, 2019 Paul rated it really liked it Olmsted on one side, 2016 on the other, and Horwitz in the middle I ve read four of his other works and this is a much immediate view of history and the United States than the other books It is view of many things the legacy of the Alamo, the struggling coal industry, modern tourism, and a man who changed the way cities and recreation spaces are built in this country But the narrative kept going back to the way history endures through many people s eyes.4.5 out of 5 starsFor my full rev Olmsted on one side, 2016 on the other, and Horwitz in the middle I ve read four of his other works and this is a much immediate view of history and the United States than the other books It is view of many things the legacy of the Alamo, the struggling coal industry, modern tourism, and a man who changed the way cities and recreation spaces are built in this country But the narrative kept going back to the way history endures through many people s eyes.4.5 out of 5 starsFor my full review all my reviews flag 5 likesLike see review Jul 02, 2019 Kristy Miller rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves non fiction, giveaways, history, travel, arc I received a copy of this book in a Giveaway in exchange for a fair review I first found Tony Horwitz a few years back, when my book club read Confederates in the Attic Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War I quickly became a huge fan of Mr Horwitz, and have collected read several other books by him since then I was devastated when Mr Horwitz died suddenly on his tour for this book This, and life in general, slowed my progress with this book, but I am happy to report that I h I received a copy of this book in a Giveaway in exchange for a fair review I first found Tony Horwitz a few years back, when my book club read Confederates in the Attic Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War I quickly became a huge fan of Mr Horwitz, and have collected read several other books by him since then I was devastated when Mr Horwitz died suddenly on his tour for this book This, and life in general, slowed my progress with this book, but I am happy to report that I have finally finished it.In his 3rd foray in to the historical South, Mr Horwitz retraces the journey of famed landscape architect Frederic Law Olmsted Before he found the calling he is known for, Mr Olmsted traveled the pre Civil War South as a corespondent for a Northern newspaper, sending back his observations of life in the South, the people, and slavery Over 150 years later Horwitz retraces Olmsted s route to Texas, with the 2016 Presidential election looming in the background of his travels The country is very divided again, and while race plays a major part in these differences it is far from the only divisive issue When I remove my emotional response to the fact that this is Mr Horwitz s last book I can recognize that it is not his best It didn t flow easily for me, like Confederates In the Attic And while I admire Olmsted, he doesn t have the historical significance of John Brown s raid, which he covered in Midnight Rising John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War I still enjoyed the book, especially the bits about Texas I think it is still worth a read, and is a good addition to his now complete body of work I will sorely miss Tony Horwitz, his sense of adventure, and the compassionate eye through which he showed us the world flag 4 likesLike see review Jun 23, 2019 Brian rated it it was amazing review of another edition Such a fun, witty, entertaining, and informative book but also a very bittersweet read with the author s recent, unexpected death Mostly a travelogue, partly a biography of Frederick Olmsted designer of Central Park it really didn t veer into politics as often as you might think from the title, and never comes across as snide or condescending Sharing the author s political leanings, it was very enjoyable for me to read Horwitz s reports from the part of the world where I live, surround Such a fun, witty, entertaining, and informative book but also a very bittersweet read with the author s recent, unexpected death Mostly a travelogue, partly a biography of Frederick Olmsted designer of Central Park it really didn t veer into politics as often as you might think from the title, and never comes across as snide or condescending Sharing the author s political leanings, it was very enjoyable for me to read Horwitz s reports from the part of the world where I live, surrounded mostly by people who see our country very differently from me Unlike Horwitz, I live here full time this book made me appreciate to some degree my own version of bar stool democracy Horwitz s term from an excellent NY Times article he wrote and makes me hope my friendships with people of such different political and social views than my own might help in some small way to bridge the divide that engulfs our nation flag 3 likesLike see review May 20, 2019 Gretchen Stokes rated it it was amazing A truly human tour of the south, guided by a historical journey Tony Horwitz applies his historically astute writing to a modern picture of various regions of the south He crafts a whole cloth out of a hugely varied cast of characters, and somehow tells an engrossing and cohesive story flag 3 likesLike see review Jul 19, 2019 Rita Ciresi rated it it was amazing review of another edition I finished this compelling travelogue weeks ago, but put off writing a review as I didn t want to acknowledge that this would be the last journey I d ever get to take with the late Tony Horwitz as my guide My enjoyment of this crazy, wild ride through the contemporary south was tinged with sadness that this kind, compassionate, and talented writer passed away so early and unexpectedly flag 3 likesLike see review Aug 07, 2019 Barbara rated it it was amazing Spying on The South is a wonderful journey following the steps of Frederick Olmsted as he traveled in the South on the eve of the Civil War Reporting for the New York Times he sought dialogue from slaveowners and slaves, hoping that through conversation secession could be averted This quest to end slavery, as well as his appreciation for the natural beauty he encountered, had a great impact on his yet unknown career as a world famous landscape designer.Tony Horwitz replicates Olmsted s trek th Spying on The South is a wonderful journey following the steps of Frederick Olmsted as he traveled in the South on the eve of the Civil War Reporting for the New York Times he sought dialogue from slaveowners and slaves, hoping that through conversation secession could be averted This quest to end slavery, as well as his appreciation for the natural beauty he encountered, had a great impact on his yet unknown career as a world famous landscape designer.Tony Horwitz replicates Olmsted s trek through Appalachia, down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and into Louisiana and Texas As Olmsted had, he interviews people from all walks of life with compassion and an open mind I gained understanding and insights into why these people think so differently from me Yet, it was sad to realize that the political and cultural divide is as great now as it was during Olmsted s travels.Frederick Olmsted was a good example of the adage, We are a sum total of all our experiences From his belief in freedom for all to his expansive landscape designs that allowed freedom of movement and a venue to elevate and assimilate the masses and force into contact the rich and the powerful, the highbrow and low his message resonates His appreciation for the terrain he saw would also be seen in his later park designs As the author meandered through The Ramble, a section of Central Park well loved by Olmsted, elements of the Southern landscape were visible Its lush and aromatic density felt like Louisiana or the Carolina Low Country than the mid Atlantic, and the plantings included swamp magnolia, a tree he admired on his journey The rustic benches and bridges were made of Alabama cedar In other areas of the park lagoon like water features and allees have the feel of the plantations he visited.This is an amazing book that anyone who loves great writing, a humorous travelogue of the U.S political parallels, or adventures of a famous architect would enjoy I am saddened to know that the author died shortly after the publication of this book I came to know him as a witty and intelligent friend flag 6 likesLike see review May 22, 2019 Kelly rated it it was amazing review of another edition This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I always love a good road trip with Tony Horwitz However, the title of this book is a little deceptive, because it is only about half about the South Or at least about the Deep South Horwitz follows the route of New England native Frederick Law Olmstead from West Virginia to Mexico There is a good bit about West Virginia to start which is only sort of the south, in my opinion , with some briefer travels in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana Then the last third of the book is ab I always love a good road trip with Tony Horwitz However, the title of this book is a little deceptive, because it is only about half about the South Or at least about the Deep South Horwitz follows the route of New England native Frederick Law Olmstead from West Virginia to Mexico There is a good bit about West Virginia to start which is only sort of the south, in my opinion , with some briefer travels in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana Then the last third of the book is about Texas and the Texas Mexico border It s all very interesting, but not really spying on the south To be fair, I doubt the title was the author s choice.As always, the narrative is entertaining and interesting I especially enjoyed the parts regarding the quirky German and Alsatian settlements in Texas, which I didn t know much about before Olmstead was also fascinated with them I learned a few things about the devastated West Virginia economy as well And, as this book was researched during the 2016 campaign and completed after the election, Horwitz doesn t shy away from interviewing people about their politics and drawing a few scary conclusions along the way This is not something I remember from his previous books, and speaks to the times in which we live But Horwitz is always a very fair portrayer of his subjects, giving full credit to the difficulty of their lives, their friendliness, hospitality and willingness to speak their minds I did not know much about Frederick Law Olmstead before I read this book I had no idea he was a journalist and storyteller before he became the genius of American landscape design I m going to find a biography now to learn about him flag 2 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jun 02, 2019 Scott Leffler rated it it was amazing The only thing bad about this book, his last Tony Horwitz died 5 27 19.All of his books are highly recommended flag 2 likesLike see review Jul 28, 2019 Mel Travis rated it really liked it I learned so much about Frederick Law Olmsted from this book It was interesting and also terrifying seeing the similarities between pre Civil War south and our country today flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 28, 2019 Chris Shores rated it it was amazing Tony Horwitz was at his best when he blended history and journalism to tell us of our country s past and present He excels at this in his final journey Spying on the South, which was published just weeks before his death The book is a mix of history lesson and travelogue as Horwitz follows in the path of landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted s journeys through antebellum south Each chapter includes part of Olmsted s trip followed by Horwitz 21st century odyssey There are plenty of int Tony Horwitz was at his best when he blended history and journalism to tell us of our country s past and present He excels at this in his final journey Spying on the South, which was published just weeks before his death The book is a mix of history lesson and travelogue as Horwitz follows in the path of landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted s journeys through antebellum south Each chapter includes part of Olmsted s trip followed by Horwitz 21st century odyssey There are plenty of interesting characters he meets across the south, particularly in Texas, which accounts for the second half of the book I am sad this is Horwitz final journey but think it was a fitting finale for the talented author flag 2 likesLike see review Aug 22, 2019 Myles rated it it was ok If you knew nothing about Americans south of the Mason Dixon Line and Tony Horwitz Spying on the South An Odyssey Across the American Divide was your introduction to these peoples, you d probably conclude that southerners revel in their ignorance, relish the most juvenile forms of entertainment, and stuff themselves with the worst food and beverages on the planet.Was Horwitz really spying on the South Yup But for whom was he spying and why Ostensibly, the narrative runs along two tracks If you knew nothing about Americans south of the Mason Dixon Line and Tony Horwitz Spying on the South An Odyssey Across the American Divide was your introduction to these peoples, you d probably conclude that southerners revel in their ignorance, relish the most juvenile forms of entertainment, and stuff themselves with the worst food and beverages on the planet.Was Horwitz really spying on the South Yup But for whom was he spying and why Ostensibly, the narrative runs along two tracks 1 Along the first track we are reading the history of Frederick Law Olmsted who as a young man made two lengthy trips to the South for this very purpose He was writing for then new New York Daily Times about a decade or so before the Civil War tore the country apart His dispatches were later collected into three books.2 The second narrative is a satire of the first in which Horwitz follows the earlier journey using mostly modern travel methods to reenact Olmsted s earlier journey He later mounts a mule to reenact Olmsted s journey, a segment in which it goes something like this Mule 10, Horwitz 0.The significance of Olmsted s trek was that the landscapes and flora he found informed or perhaps inspired his later work as America s first professional landscape architect He designed New York s Central Park, Montreal s Mont Royal, and the capacious Balti estate in North Carolina among many others.Olmsted s was a virulent anti slaver, a free soiler in the parlance of the time He graphically documented conditions on the plantations To his credit, Horwitz fills out Olmstead s observations and the local history after Olmsted s went home.For me the most interesting discussion was plight of freethinking German settlers to Texas Mexico outlawed slavery before Texans declared their independence For years land speculators and cotton growers had been flooding into the territory to expand the land under cultivation, as cotton was a tremendously profitable business at the time.Texans later voted to join the United States as a slave state.This didn t sit well with the industrious Germans and Alsatians who legally immigrated to West Texas But sympathies in the state were largely pro slavery and though some fought a rearguard action during the Civil War to undermine the Confederate cause, most clammed up and kept their opinions to themselves.Olmsted not only sympathized with the freethinkers, he promoted their cause once he returned to New York.Horwitz obviously also sympathizes with the sympathizer and this is where the two stories cross Because in America today all is not finished between the races There is the matter of racial profiling Gerrymandered voting districts Voter ID cards Belligerent immigration policy Pandering to white supremacists Racially motivated shooting sprees.Need I go on Horwitz sheds light on and helps correct the score where early Texans stood on the matter of personal freedoms and notes the layers of irony for today s Texans who go on ad nauseam about how little they want Washington to interfere with their personal freedoms Ditto with Louisianans And West Virginians.My own readers will roll their eyes as I repeat my observation about how the very people who complain about their personal freedoms being jeopardized with attacks on the Second Amendment right to bear arms vote against anybody who believes women ought to have final say about processes in their own bodies.Once the Civil War broke out Olmsted took a very active role in prosecuting the war for the Union He was undoubtedly one of the unsung heroes behind the lines.And his park designs inspire us to this day, making cities liveable and encouraging better behaviour among its warring factions.Tony, thank you for this entertaining look at America today flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 04, 2019 Bill FromPA rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves non fiction, library This was something of a slog for me Though overall it s well written, there s not much momentum from chapter to chapter I found my interest alternately engaged and disengaged as Horwitz moved from subject to subject, situation to situation.Horwitz s writing combines the scholarly minutiae and careful exposition of the study or, as it often feels, the library carrel with the immediate perceptions and improvisatory connections of the open road These modes alternate throughout this book his p This was something of a slog for me Though overall it s well written, there s not much momentum from chapter to chapter I found my interest alternately engaged and disengaged as Horwitz moved from subject to subject, situation to situation.Horwitz s writing combines the scholarly minutiae and careful exposition of the study or, as it often feels, the library carrel with the immediate perceptions and improvisatory connections of the open road These modes alternate throughout this book his primary historical subject is the life and accomplishments of Frederick Law Olmstead and his hands on project is a 2015 16 re tracing some of Olmstead s journeys through the antebellum South His stated purpose in this undertaking is to explore the nation s enduring fault line between free and slave states in his time, and red and blue states in mine Was the nation unraveling into hostile confederacies Had that happened already The view from my barn office in New England didn t offer any answers His re creation of Olmstead s travels at times takes on the aspect of stunt journalism , as when he unrealistically attempts to re create not just the itinerary of the 19th century traveler but the means of transport as well Thus, he ends up hitching a ride on a coal barge tow to travel the Ohio river a strategy which does not, in the end, take him to his destination and attempting to travel through parts of Texas by mule though admittedly his account of this last attempt turns out to be what is probably the best chapter, for reasons discussed below.The book scholar road scholar duality reaches an absurd contrast in Colfax, LA, where, after movingly recounting a massacre by Confederate veterans of freedmen seeking to retain their Reconstruction era civil rights, Horwitz attends mudfest , a weeklong monster truck rally on the grounds of a former cotton plantation Though Confederate flags are prominent at this event, it s hard to see how this overlong chapter contributes to an exploration of the nation s ideological divide I m sure something similarly pointless and indulgent could have been found in a blue state Horwitz companion at mudfest, Australian TV personality Andrew Denton who appears all too briefly but provides an entertaining foil for the author while he does gives a somewhat absurdist summary This was an evil place, slave masters with whips and chains Now you ve got whites in blackface here, tearing that plantation up I d call that unpoetic justice Horwitz evidently spends so much time on mudfest because he finds its participants fascinating, a spell he s unable to re create for the reader The tolerance and understanding Horwitz is able to bring to his interviews finally breaks down on the aforementioned mule ride, where the mule rancher and guide who accompanies him proves himself an asshole too egregious even for the author s capacious acceptance my failure in a department of which I d felt I was chair finding a way to reach and get along with just about anybody, no matter how different our backgrounds or beliefs or temperaments Afterward, Horwitz recent acquaintance, Texan Bret Cali, a self described industrious hippie , diagnoses the trouble as resentiment He needed to put your East Coast writer s ass in its place, at the bottom of the pecking order It s interesting that, in describing his failure in the above quote Horwitz turns to a metaphor from academia, his higher education being, no doubt, part of what the pseudonymous Buck resented.So this examination of the political divide climaxes with an irreconcilable conflict of personalities, which does not seem to me far from the mark in examining the basic divisions of the country If these are to be expressed ideologically, it s hard to do better than quoting Charles Riotte, a German immigrant forty eighter acquaintance of Olmsted, from whose 1856 letter Horwitz quotes Riotte and his ilk viewed society as a congregation of men whose aim it is to elevate the wellbeing of the aggregate by the combined exertion Americans, by contrast, look first upon themselves as private individuals, entitled to ask for all the rights and benefits of an organized community even to the detriment of the whole We idealize the community you the individual How is it possible, that we should ever amalgamate Riotte closed by praising Olmsted s writing on the South but expressed doubt that it would diminish the Slave Power I don t know of any historical record of an Aristocracy giving up their privileges, except in the case of revolutionary pressure But Horwitz is infected with the pundit s disease of both siderism Rather than reflect that his experience with mule skinner Buck is, in fact, the sort of interpersonal dynamic that often than not is the end result of attempts at establishing dialogue across the political fault line , he excoriates his blue state peers who believe that every Trump voter was an irredeemable bigot When I talked to my New England neighbors about deep red Texas, it was clear they regarded it as arid, alien, and hostile, like ISIS controlled parts of Syria The self righteous certitude of others on the left reminded me of a different Middle Eastern country Saudi Arabia, where the religious police surveilled and punished citizens for even the faintest deviation from Wahhabi orthodoxy Unlike Horwitz, I have been to neither Martha s Vineyard nor Saudi Arabia, so perhaps I should accept his comparison as the voice of experience But really It isn t clear if someone actually made the ISIS comparison in good faith if so, perhaps Horwitz intends his riposte to serve as an equal but opposite exaggeration Given the political monoculture he describes encountering in Texas, though, it s difficult to believe, even given the shunning of Alan Dershowitz, that he finds the Northeast on the whole intolerant of political dissent than the South flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 10, 2019 Mike Zickar rated it really liked it Shelves memoir, history A very enjoyable trek through much of the South WV to KY to Louisiana to TX following the footsteps of a trip that Frederick Law Olmstead took in the 1850s, trying to understand the pre Civil War South The book has a bittersweet note to it, knowing that this is likely the last book that Tony Horowitz wrote.The book excels at Horowitz s random exploring and ability to reach out and get everyday people to talk to a stranger and his ability to seek meaning in the everyday conversations he has wi A very enjoyable trek through much of the South WV to KY to Louisiana to TX following the footsteps of a trip that Frederick Law Olmstead took in the 1850s, trying to understand the pre Civil War South The book has a bittersweet note to it, knowing that this is likely the last book that Tony Horowitz wrote.The book excels at Horowitz s random exploring and ability to reach out and get everyday people to talk to a stranger and his ability to seek meaning in the everyday conversations he has with people who feel neglected or unimportant.I felt like when Horowitz jumps into the details of the Olmstead journey, the book loses its energy It s recaptured, though, when Horowitz takes control of the narrative and heads off to another bar, or a riverboat tour, or a historical museum and reports his interactions and conversations.This book has several important lessons, for me, at least In this divided country, Horowitz shows empathy toward people who have completely different political views from him Horowitz listens to these people and really does try to understand people who differ from him And I dare say, he tries to appreciate who they are We all can do of this.Two, Horowitz makes me want to head out on a journey, to avoid the big tourist traps the Disney worlds , and to get off the main highways and to see beauty in places that might otherwise be ignored Thank you Tony for the lovely book Rest in peace flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 15, 2019 Mark Miano rated it really liked it review of another edition I was on a business trip recently and brought this book along to start reading Just moments before picking it up, I was looking at the New York Times on my device and made the surreal and upsetting discovery that Tony Horwitz had passed away a few hours earlier What a terrible loss Horwitz is best remembered as the author of CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC, but he s also the author of several other highly praised history books I love the way he tells his narratives, by getting out on the road and I was on a business trip recently and brought this book along to start reading Just moments before picking it up, I was looking at the New York Times on my device and made the surreal and upsetting discovery that Tony Horwitz had passed away a few hours earlier What a terrible loss Horwitz is best remembered as the author of CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC, but he s also the author of several other highly praised history books I love the way he tells his narratives, by getting out on the road and visiting the places he s writing about, talking to people he meets along the way, and involving himself directly in the narrative.SPYING ON THE SOUTH is a terrific read, retracing the steps of Frederick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who designed New York s Central Park, during his two journeys into the South just before the Civil War Olmsted as an undercover reporter is trying to understand the mind of Southern slaveholders Horwitz doesn t travel undercover in his journey, but his struggle to understand the mind of Southerners who embrace the Lost Cause today is riveting flag 1 likeLike see review View 1 comment Jul 30, 2019 Glennon Harrison rated it really liked it We have lost a great interpreter of the relationship between past and present Sadly, Tony Horowitz died of a heart attack on Monday, May 27th, 2019 in Chevy Chase, MD Your fans will miss your wit, insights, and your ability to interpret the stranger parts of America in a kind and humorous way.Through his many books, Tony told fascinating stories that mixed humor with social criticism Although this book was somewhat uneven in places especially Louisiana , his trip down the Ohio was fascinatin We have lost a great interpreter of the relationship between past and present Sadly, Tony Horowitz died of a heart attack on Monday, May 27th, 2019 in Chevy Chase, MD Your fans will miss your wit, insights, and your ability to interpret the stranger parts of America in a kind and humorous way.Through his many books, Tony told fascinating stories that mixed humor with social criticism Although this book was somewhat uneven in places especially Louisiana , his trip down the Ohio was fascinating, while the trip down the Mississippi was somewhat less so Nevertheless, Horowitz s premise of following in the steps of Frederick Law Olmstead, whose pre Civil War trip he retraces, is a fine idea And it reminds us again of what a prolific and fine landscape architect Olmstead was The beauty of this book is in the interweaving of Olmstead s work and the legacy that he left for everyone who has the pleasure of exploring his love of nature.The book also shares some similarities with Mark Twain s Life on the Mississippi and Jonathan Raban s Old Glory An American Voyage flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 27, 2019 Dave rated it it was amazing review of another edition Almost as good as Confederates in the Attic, which means almost as good as one of the best books I ve ever read Horwitz expertly layers Olmsted and his southern travels before the Civil War overtop his own travels in Olmsted s traces before the 2016 election Not without humor the chapters with Andrew are funny like Bill Bryson or outrage the chapters on Colfax and Crockett are infuriating , but with deep compassion and a desire to understand and connect to nearly all people not like him, or Almost as good as Confederates in the Attic, which means almost as good as one of the best books I ve ever read Horwitz expertly layers Olmsted and his southern travels before the Civil War overtop his own travels in Olmsted s traces before the 2016 election Not without humor the chapters with Andrew are funny like Bill Bryson or outrage the chapters on Colfax and Crockett are infuriating , but with deep compassion and a desire to understand and connect to nearly all people not like him, or me, or many in the North And there s a walk in Central Park at the end, for all of us I am heartbroken that he won t write any books You all, North and South, should read this one flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 22, 2019 Randy rated it liked it It must be fun to be a writer like Tony Horowitz who has had enough success that he can pitch an idea like retracing the route through the South that Frederick Law Olmstead took prior to the Civil War and reporting on that book and what is happening now An unknown writer with this idea would have to finance it on his own but I m certain that Horowitz got a big advance and could take his time Spying on the South is a bit of a reprise of Confederates in the Attic, another book I liked, but this It must be fun to be a writer like Tony Horowitz who has had enough success that he can pitch an idea like retracing the route through the South that Frederick Law Olmstead took prior to the Civil War and reporting on that book and what is happening now An unknown writer with this idea would have to finance it on his own but I m certain that Horowitz got a big advance and could take his time Spying on the South is a bit of a reprise of Confederates in the Attic, another book I liked, but this time the route of travel is different.There s a reason Horowitz gets the big advances He s a good writer and observer I enjoyed Spying on the South but I don t think it s his strongest outing It s educational, none the less For example, I did not know that Olmstead had a writing career prior to becoming famous for Central Park I didn t know that he was an active abolitionist although I did know that he ran the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War.The problem here is that this trip Horowitz s version just isn t as interesting as his Confederates in the Attic trip or the one that generated Blue Latitudes We meet lots of southerners, mostly Trump supporters, who don t have much money and spend what the do have on Redneck activities like running high powered trucks through a mud park It s all a bit too much of the Southern Texan stereotype There s a part of the book where Horowitz hires a guide for a mule back trip along part of Olmstead s route It started to remind me a bit of Rinker Buck s Oregon Trail book I should listen again to that part of the book because I think it only lasted a couple of days but Horowitz milked it for a long chapter Again, a skilled and successful writer who has reached the point where he can pretty much do what he wants and write about it Not to beat a dead mule, but I think Horowitz s best book is Midnight Rising, the story about John Brown Horowitz seems fascinated by the South and the Civil War.Note writing this I was not aware that Tony Horowitz had recently collapsed and died at the very young age of 60 flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 14, 2019 Zach rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves history, travel, audiobooks 3.5I was almost finished with this when I learned the sad news that Tony Horwitz passed away very recently at a relatively young age Rest In Peace Tony Horwitz, Blue Latitudes and Confederates in the Attic are two of my favorite books.I listened to this on audio and the narrator s attempt at an Australian accent was so bad he should be extradited for a public execution in Sydney flag 1 likeLike see review View 1 comment Aug 05, 2019 Sandi rated it really liked it Well that was oAlot of history about south uch of it in Texas flag 1 likeLike see review Jul 30, 2019 Mark rated it it was amazing I ve read all of Tony Horwitz s books and loved them all Reading this one made me sad, because he died while on book tour to promote it and because it was so rich, so engaging, I wanted flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 14, 2019 Jessica rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves nonfiction, travel, history Once again, Horwitz delves into history to help us understand the present RIP, sir I am going to miss the anticipation of your next book flag 1 likeLike see review Apr 28, 2019 Justin rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2019 reads To say that two of the most politically divisive eras in the US occurred prior to the Presidential elections of 1860 and 2016 would be an understatement In each of these timeframes, the country was or less divided North versus South and Red versus Blue, respectively and thought the other half was wrong It is this notion that drives the compelling narrative in this book Horwitz follows the path Fred Olmstead took in the 1850s, and describes his encounters with others below the Mason Dix To say that two of the most politically divisive eras in the US occurred prior to the Presidential elections of 1860 and 2016 would be an understatement In each of these timeframes, the country was or less divided North versus South and Red versus Blue, respectively and thought the other half was wrong It is this notion that drives the compelling narrative in this book Horwitz follows the path Fred Olmstead took in the 1850s, and describes his encounters with others below the Mason Dixon line and across the political fence His experiences are interwove with what Olmstead shared in his writings, and often shows how history truly does repeat itself I enjoyed the parts dealing with Hortwitz better than Olmstead, but this is to be expected since Hortwitz could provide details than can be gleaned from centuries old writings He meets a very colorful cast of characters and helps to understand the differences and common threads among all Americans A splash of historical textbook, part historical narrative nonfiction, and largely a memoir of one man s present day journey into the South, this provides an enjoyable read It has a slow start, but I found myself into it after getting past the first third of the book I recommend this book to fans of the Civil War era or people who just want an enjoyable nonfiction memoir about a man s observations of a different life Thank you to the publishers of this book for furnishing me with a copy to read and review All opinions are my own flag 1 likeLike see review View 1 comment Sep 02, 2019 Nancy rated it really liked it review of another edition Recommends it for Sam, Kathy Ron, Ellen Recommended to Nancy by PBS Newshour Shelves read in 2019, non fiction Spying on the South was a book that I both enjoyed reading, and from which I learned so much I learned about Frederick Olmsted Fred , a name I was familiar with as the designer of Central Park in New York As Horwitz traces Olmsted s 1850 s journey through the southern U.S he draws parallels and relates stories of the people Horwitz meets on his travels Horwitz s vignettes are often funny, and always telling about the divides leading up to the 2016 election However, Horwitz s stories are Spying on the South was a book that I both enjoyed reading, and from which I learned so much I learned about Frederick Olmsted Fred , a name I was familiar with as the designer of Central Park in New York As Horwitz traces Olmsted s 1850 s journey through the southern U.S he draws parallels and relates stories of the people Horwitz meets on his travels Horwitz s vignettes are often funny, and always telling about the divides leading up to the 2016 election However, Horwitz s stories are about than politics He captures the uniqueness of the people and places he comes across Only at a few points does the author insert his own opinion And yet, the book does not come off as reporting, but a personal story Although I have been to several of the places, Horwitz goes far beyond what one sees as a tourist visitor Except the real thing looked so punyI d read enough to know the Alamo wasn t a grand cathedral But at first glance, the shrine s size and shape wasn t much different from the Mexican restaurant where I d lunched 274 This Tex Mex German blend was evident when I checked into the Faust Hotel and snacked on German Nachos, Kartoffel potatoe chips topped with wurst, peppers, and cheese The woman next to me was of mixed German and Mexican heritage and jokingly referred to herself as a beaner schnitzel 293 There is nothing great or important for me to write, the letter said in part, just working every day, that was the way I was taught 311 Note left by a cancer patient farmer in Texas who shot himself This is my last piece of paper no coffee in the house, Degner a Texas Forty Eighter of unusually large education wrote, citing two shortages of particular concern to intellectuals like himself 316 What stung much was my failure in a department of which I felt like I was chair finding a way to reach and get along with just about anybody, no matter how different our backgrounds or beliefs or temperaments This was one reason I d identified with Olmstead I shared his missionary spirit, believing that there was always room for dialogue, and great value in having it, if only to make it harder for Americans to demonize one another 348 Fred nonetheless took time to write a long letter to his half sister Bertha, then studying in France, sharing what he d learned about travel The great key , he told her, is to place oneself in situations circumstances, where one will be most liable to accidents I don t mean disagreeable accidents To place oneself where I mean one does not know what to expect next 386 Grafton WV had been my welcome to a heartland hollowed out by economic and social decay Here, at the nation s edge in South Texas , celebrating a Northern European holiday Halloween in a Spanish speaking semi desert, the atmosphere seemed hopeful and American Neighborly, immigrant, vibrant, and family centered, three generations often represented among the trick or treaters and those gathered on lawn chairs 389 I want my boys to go to Ivy League schools, Kristel said We ve had a black man as president, and it looks like next week we ll elect a woman Sometime soon it will be one of our sons or daughters in the White House 389 Plants and grass have a pacifying effect I ve never seen a fistfight in front of a flower bed 406 I am sorry that Horwitz has died, shortly after the publication of this book However, I am glad that I read this book, after seeing an interview on PBS Newshour, and look forward to reading some of his older publications flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Mt Lebanon Publi Spying on the South by Tony Horowitz 1 5 Jun 12, 2019 06 53AM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Genres History 89 users Nonfiction 70 users Travel 45 users Biography 14 users North American Hi American History 14 users Politics 9 users See top shelves About Tony Horwitz Tony Horwitz 629 followers Date of Birth 1958Tony Horwitz is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author whose books include Blue Latitudes, Confederates In The Attic and Baghdad Without A Map His most recent work, published in May 2019, is Spying on the South, which follows Frederick Law Olmsted s travels from the Potomac to the Rio Grande as an undercover correspondent in the 1850s Tony has also been president of t Date of Birth 1958Tony Horwitz is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author whose books include Blue Latitudes, Confederates In The Attic and Baghdad Without A Map His most recent work, published in May 2019, is Spying on the South, which follows Frederick Law Olmsted s travels from the Potomac to the Rio Grande as an undercover correspondent in the 1850s Tony has also been president of the Society of American Historians He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Geraldine Brooks Books by Tony Horwitz More Trivia About Spying on the Sou No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now Quotes from Spying on the Sou with a 0 likes Olmsted s initial faith in reasoned discourse had also waned In the course of his travels, the South s leading men had struck him as implacable convinced of the superiority of their caste bound society, intent on expanding it, and utterly contemptuous of the North They are a mischievous class 0 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 270, 359, 138, 25, 5 if rating_details rating_detailssert top rating_graph Company About us Careers Terms Privacy Help Work with us Authors Advertise Authors ads blog API Connect 2019 , Inc Mobile version

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    • Þ Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land || ↠ PDF Download by í Tony Horwitz
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    About "Tony Horwitz"

    1. Tony Horwitz

      Date of Birth 1958Tony Horwitz is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author whose books include Blue Latitudes, Confederates In The Attic and Baghdad Without A Map His most recent work, published in May 2019, is Spying on the South, which follows Frederick Law Olmsted s travels from the Potomac to the Rio Grande as an undercover correspondent in the 1850s Tony has also been president of t Date of Birth 1958Tony Horwitz is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author whose books include Blue Latitudes, Confederates In The Attic and Baghdad Without A Map His most recent work, published in May 2019, is Spying on the South, which follows Frederick Law Olmsted s travels from the Potomac to the Rio Grande as an undercover correspondent in the 1850s Tony has also been president of the Society of American Historians He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Geraldine Brooks

    394 thoughts on “Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land”

    1. Tony Horowitz follows the path of Frederick Olmsted, who was a writer for the then, New York Daily Times, who wrote about his trips to the South, in the 1850 s Olmsted made 2 trips, of which Horowitz chose to follow the second journey that took place in 1853 4 This 2nd trip from Maryland through West Virginia, on the Mississippi River through Louisiana and finally to Texas, was the one that this book follows as the author manages to seek out, in some cases, the most idiosyncratic and eccentric T [...]


    2. I love Tony Horwitz s nonfiction He has a simple formula he picks some interesting, underappreciated bit of history, then explores the modern day geography The result is a mix of travelogue and history as Horwitz interweaves his own adventures with the history His best known work is Confederates in the Attic, and I was beyond overjoyed when I saw that he was returning to the South.Spying on the South retraces the steps of Frederick Olmstead on a pre Civil War trip through the South It wasn I lov [...]


    3. Reading this last book by Horowitz was bittersweet, and since he narrated his own book it was even special Following a journey by Frederick Olmstead that he had undertaken between 1852 through 1857 through our southern states, Tony sets out to duplicate this journey as much as was possible Olmstead took this journey to investigate the slave economy, dispatches he sent back to the Times.So in between quotes from Olmstead on his discoveries, we see how much of how little things have changed Readi [...]


    4. I could have gone to a 4 but really, 3 means I liked it, so I ll leave it like that Horwitz is a fine companion as he follows in the pre civil war footsteps of Frederick Law Olmstead through the South Olmstead was archly anti slavery He traveled the south as a correspondent for what was then the New York Daily Times, trying to understand the people who defended slavery and seemed to live in such a different world than his Later, of course, he became the country s foremost landscape archit I coul [...]


    5. America lost something great when Tony Horowitz died in May 2019 When you read this book, you are made painfully aware of that fact Horowitz possessed not only ability to get people to talk to and with him, but also to capture them on the page Reading this book, you realize how rare and powerful that skill is Spying on the South is on one level a recreation of Frederick Olmstead s journey to report on the South prior to the Civil War Much of it was done during the 2016 election, and, theref Amer [...]


    6. I had 12 pages to go in Spying on the South when my best friend texted me that Tony Horwitz had died I m so sorry I know you loved him I loved him too I was going to lend her the pre publication copy I d gotten through I ll still send it to her but she will have to give it back It s marked up and underlined with stars and exclamation points in the margins I circled places Olmstead had passed through where I d lived before and places I want to go to some day I d scribbled in th I had 12 pages to [...]


    7. Another really great read Two in a row Delves into the underlying psyche and current of the Southern culture Similarities and differences between the present and the time of the Civil War Demonstrates how some things, ideas, and ethics within the culture show very little progress from the attitudes that existed during the Civil War Horwitz shadows Olmsted s trek through the South in the 1850s It s expected how much has changed and it s telling how much hasn t.


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