Riding with Strangers
A Hitchhiker's Journey
By Elijah Wald
(Chicago Review Press, Hardcover, 9781556526053, 240pp.)
Publication Date: May 2006
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This fascinating tale of the author's cross-country hitchhiking journey is a captivating look into the pleasures and challenges of the open road. As the miles roll by he meets businessmen, missionaries, conspiracy theorists, and truck drivers from all ages and ethnicities who are eager to open their car doors to a wandering stranger. This memoir uncovers the hidden reality that the United States remains hospitable, quirky, and as ready as ever to offer help to a curious traveler. Demonstrating how hitchhiking can be the ultimate in adventure travela thrilling exploration of both people and scenerythis guide also serves as a hitchhiker's reference, sharing the history behind this communal form of travel while touching on roadside lore and philosophy.
Elijah Wald has published six books, both alone and with various cowriters, including Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues; Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas; and River of Song: A Musical Journey Along the Mississippi.
"Elijah, it's good to see you keeping Kerouac's 'drive' alive." Michelle Shocked
"A lot of people have tried to write books about hitchhiking, but none of them worked. This one does." Utah Phillips
"Not only is he a fearless explorer, he's a masterful explainer." The Boston Globe
"At its heart, [it] is an easy-to-read travel story...Wald gives an extraordinary spin to ordinary moments." San Antonio Express-News
"Filled with tips, detailed history of the communal form of travel and roadside lore and philosophy." Associated Press
"Good enough to join a few others of this ilk such as Jack Kerouac's On the Road." Idaho Mountain Express
"Wald has written a clear and compelling ballad, not a legal brief. As such it’s a winning one." San Francisco Chronicle
"Even the weariest of readers will be tempted to stand on a curb [and] stick out their thumb." Utne