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Like so many of us, McKibben grew up believing--knowing--that the United States was the greatest country on earth. As a teenager, he cheerfully led American Revolution tours in Lexington, Massachusetts. He sang "Kumbaya" at church. And with the remarkable rise of suburbia, he assumed that all Americans would share in the wealth.
But fifty years later, he finds himself in an increasingly doubtful nation strained by bleak racial and economic inequality, on a planet whose future is in peril.
And he is curious: What the hell happened?
In this revelatory cri de coeur, McKibben digs deep into our history (and his own well-meaning but not all-seeing past) and into the latest scholarship on race and inequality in America, on the rise of the religious right, and on our environmental crisis to explain how we got to this point. He finds that he is not without hope. And he wonders if any of that trinity of his youth-- The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon--could, or should, be reclaimed in the fight for a fairer future.
Bill McKibben is a co-founder of the environmental organization 350.org and has recently helped found Third Act, to build a progressive organizing movement for people over the age of 60. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the bestsellers The End of Nature and Deep Economy. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and the winner of the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize. He lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern.
The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened (Hardcover)
This book is currently on backorder. Please call or email for availability.