Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide tells the stories of Frederick Law Omstead (as a young man and writer for the New York Daily News) across the South and the pre-Civil War era, along side the author’s,Tony Horwitz, own journey covering the same ground Omstead crossed. He found connections between the past and 2019. Horwitz starts in West Virginia, , spends time in Kentucky, Tennessee, along the Mississippi, in Louisiana, Texas, and on the Texas-Mexico border before heading back north to his home. (The author does not cover his trip back.)
I found the connections Horwitz makes very interesting and offer some good insights. He also points out how some parts of the South have managed to keep long ago traditions alive and manage to ignore/not speak of slavery and its brutality altogether. I also laughed hard, especially during the mule trek. The book is the right mix of history, commentary, and insight into culture that I have read in a long time.