The Disunited States
Translated from the French by Alison Strayer
The rediscovery, 75 years later, of a classic travelogue across the United States during the height of the Great Depression by one of France's great voices of conscience.
Vladimir Pozner—influential French novelist, screenwriter, pioneer in literary genre, and Oscar nominee—came to the United States in the 1930's. He found the nation and its people in a state of profound material and spiritual crisis, and took it upon himself to chronicle the life of the worker, the striker, the politician, the starlet, the gangster, the everyman; to document the bitter, violent racism tearing its society asunder, the overwhelming despair permeating everyday life, and the unyielding human struggle against it all. In the spirit of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Pozner writes about America and Americans with the searing criticism and deep compassion of an outsider who loved the country and its people far too much to render anything less than a brutally honest portrayal. Recalling Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, he shatters the rules of reportage to create a complete portrait of America, enduring and profound.
"The seeds of a thousand novels lie in these pages, but Pozner does not linger, and you have just enough time to shake your head before he is on to the next arresting or heartbreaking or maddening scrap of information."—Words Without Borders
"...[a] brimming book of reportage, a cross between Studs Terkel and the New Journalism written years before either came around."—NewYorker.com