Ethan Casey’s new piece of writing, “America: Now What?” is a chain of short essays that overlap and combine to address the big and urgent question in the title. Written between February and April 2016, it was occasioned by events unfolding during the presidential primary season, but the question is much bigger and more chronic than that. As Casey observes, an election is a telling moment in a country’s story – and the real story is about the country, not the election.
“America: Now What?” is a sequel or companion to Casey’s book Home Free: An American Road Trip, his narrative account of the driving trip he made around the country during the fall of 2012 – documenting what was on Americans’ minds during what might turn out to have been, as Casey now ruefully wonders, “the last normal presidential election in American history.” He could not have known in 2012 what would happen in 2016. But, at the end of Home Free, after driving more than 18,000 miles over 3 1/2 months and meeting a wide range of Americans in every region of the country, he reflected that “while the United States, plural, might be in some sense a single country, they are also an archipelago of disparate communities. Whether the center would hold was an open question.”
You are invited to read the eight-part chain of essays “America: Now What?” online here. It will also be published, in print and as an e-book, in early 2017 by Blue Ear Books as part of a collection of speeches and writings titled America: Now What? and Other Questions. Purchase Home Free: An American Road Trip now for $14.95 plus $3.95 shipping, and you will receive one of the first copies of America: Now What? and Other Questions when it is published in early 2017.
Ethan Casey and other Blue Ear Books authors will be holding a series of “America: Now What?” in-person events around the United States, beginning in Seattle in August 2016. Dates and locations TBD. Contact Ethan Casey to inquire about an event in your city, or to invite him or another Blue Ear Books author to speak at your university or other venue.
America Now What?
Part 1 of 8: Problems or Stories?
Part 2 of 8: Road Tripping
Part 3 of 8: Versions of Reality
Part 4 of 8: Do I Have to Have an Argument?
Part 5 of 8: Even Worse Presidents to Follow
Part 6 of 8: “This is Not Haiti”
Part 7 of 8: Should the New Normal be Normative?
Part 8 of 8: Stepping in the Raging River