About the Book
One town looks much like the next with the familiar matrix of shopping centers, malls, gas stations, fast food restaurants, and big box stores filling in around the remains of old town Main Streets. Eye-catching facades and grimy backsides together with some obligatory landscaping combine for the purpose of acquiring goods and services with the swipe of a credit card. As an observer and sometimes participant I am constantly confronted with inequality, tension, and impasse, elaborated by human fallibility and at times softened with unexpected grace and beauty. I can be critical of what I see, particularly the cheap and ugly, but like it or not what we have here is a culture that binds us together and at the very least provides context for an explicitly American lifestyle that for the moment is lived like no other.