A Race to the Bottom of Crazy: Dispatches from Arizona (Hardcover)

A Race to the Bottom of Crazy: Dispatches from Arizona By Richard Grant Cover Image

A Race to the Bottom of Crazy: Dispatches from Arizona (Hardcover)


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The bestselling author of Dispatches from Pluto and The Deepest South of All turns his sharp wit and observational powers on the epicenter of America’s most divisive issues: Arizona.

When Richard Grant and his wife moved with their four-year-old daughter back to Tucson, Arizona, where the couple first met, he expected to easily rekindle his love of the region. Instead, he found a housing market gone haywire, rampant election conspiracies, and right-wing political violence alarmingly close to his home and family. Undocumented immigration was surging, and the state was also on the front lines of climate change, breaking heat and drought records, and running out of long-term water supplies. Under these circumstances, Grant wondered how he might raise a happy, well-adjusted child who believes in the future. Yet these concerns weren’t keeping people away: Arizona was simultaneously experiencing some of the nation’s highest population growth.

In A Race to the Bottom of Crazy, Grant mixes memoir, research, and reporting in a quest to understand what makes Arizona such a confounding and irresistible place. He visits the world’s largest machine-gun shoot; takes a sunset boat cruise with a US Congressman and a group of far-right patriots; rides through the desert with a Border Patrol agent; and goes camping with his family in breathtaking mountain ranges that rise out of the desert like islands in the sky. Interspersed with these adventures are recollections of his previous stint in the state, including his friendship with cult writer Charles Bowden and years living off the grid with smugglers, dope farmers, and outlaws on the Mexican border. Ultimately, Grant arrives at the conclusion that Arizona has always been a scattershot improvisation, with bizarre and extreme behavior in its DNA.

This book is an entertaining, illuminating, and essential guide to understanding modern America at its most overheated.
Richard Grant is an author of nonfiction books, a journalist, and a documentary film writer. His last two books, Dispatches from Pluto and The Deepest South of All, were New York Times bestsellers. His previous books include the adventure travel classic God’s Middle Finger: Into the Heart of the Sierra Madre and American Nomads, which was made into an acclaimed BBC documentary with Grant as the writer and star. Currently a contributor to Smithsonian magazine, Grant has published journalism in Esquire, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Originally from London, England, now a US citizen, he has traveled extensively and written books about Mexico and East Africa. After several years of living in a remote farmhouse in the Mississippi Delta, an experience chronicled in the multi-award-winning Dispatches from Pluto, Grant is living in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife and daughter.
Product Details ISBN: 9781668011027
ISBN-10: 1668011026
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 13th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English