Bringing together two of America’s unifying loves—road trips and Abraham Lincoln—a journalist takes readers on a thought-provoking journey into the soul of our country and shared history
A year into his marriage and having never driven an RV, Frank Barry and his wife Laurel set out from New York City in a Winnebago to drive the nation’s first transcontinental route, the so-called Lincoln Highway, which is just a series of local roads that zigzags from Times Square to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The idea was to use the spirit of Abraham Lincoln to guide them across the land, in hopes of seeing more clearly what holds the country together — and how we can keep it together, even amidst political divisions have grown increasingly rancorous, bitter, and exhausting.
Along the way, Frank and Laurel meet Americans who help readers see the nation’s divisions through a more personal perspectives — and encounter historical figures and events whose legacies are still shaping our sense of national identity and the struggles over it.
This unforgettable journey is full of what makes any great road trip memorable and enjoyable: music, conversation, and laughter. By the end, readers will have a clearer picture of how we have arrived at a period that carries echoes of the Civil War era, and—using Lincoln as a guide—where the path forward lies.
About the Author
Francis S. Barry is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist and member of the editorial board covering national affairs. He served as chief speechwriter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the 2020 presidential campaign and in New York's City Hall, where he also helped lead a variety of government and election reform initiatives, including on lobbying, campaign finance, and ballot access. He is the author of The Scandal of Reform and holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and New York University.