To America with Love by A.A. Gill

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The complicated love/hate relationship between Americans and Europeans, particularly the British, is, in part, the subject of A.A. Gill’s thoroughly absorbing new book, To America with Love. Gill...who can weave together an endless array of disparate facts and phenomenon into a seamless, witty, thought-provoking narrative.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

A celebrated British provocateur and Vanity Fair columnist serves up an “immensely entertaining book inspired by his love and knowledge of America” (Sunday Times, London).

IN TO AMERICA WITH LOVE, celebrated British provocateur and Vanity Fair colum­nist A. A. Gill traverses the Atlantic to become the freshest chronicler of American identity in recent memory. With a fiery temper, a sharp-tongued wit, and an insatiable curiosity to figure out what makes more than 300 million of the world’s population tick, Gill traces the history and logic of our nation’s habits, collecting wild stories and startling facts along the way. From Colorado, where he meets a local vegeta­tion expert and learns which flowers were in Poca­hontas’s nuptial bouquet, to Kentucky, where he visits the Creationist Museum and drinks moonshine with a hog farmer, and to Harlem, where he misses a turn and stumbles into the wrong barbershop for a once-in-a-lifetime haircut, Gill embarks on a tour of not only the nation’s landscape but also its psyche, playing adventurer, philosopher, statistician, and raconteur all at once. In inimitable fashion he explains why pressing a button in a Manhattan elevator means entering a social contract of American etiquette and inverting conventional hierarchies of space; why browsing through Playboy centerfolds becomes the perfect litmus test for a generation’s political views; and how Hollywood is the metaphysical marketplace for movies, the place where Americans are sold on American romance and taught how to dream the American dream.

Weaving together a tapestry of historical erudition and outrageous anecdotes, Gill ultimately captures the scope and spirit of a nation that started off as a conceptual experiment and became a political, sci­entific, and cultural fortress. This humorous and revelatory book shows us why we are who we are by transforming ordinary experiences into extraordinary lessons and promising to never let us look in the mirror the same way again.
 

About A.A. Gill

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A.A. Gill was born in Edinburgh, but has lived in London for most of his life. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.
 
Published July 9, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 257 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for To America with Love
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 12 2013

A stirring, funny, thought-provoking appreciation of the place, the idea, the experiment, the United States of America.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Aug 21 2013

At his best, he writes with enormous energy and verve...But this book can also feel lazy and outdated. Many of Mr. Gill’s observations, perhaps unavoidably, retrace ground covered more than a century and a half ago by Alexis de Tocqueville, not to mention aperçus served up by the seemingly endless stream of foreign writers since.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Robert Collison on Aug 09 2013

The complicated love/hate relationship between Americans and Europeans, particularly the British, is, in part, the subject of A.A. Gill’s thoroughly absorbing new book, To America with Love. Gill...who can weave together an endless array of disparate facts and phenomenon into a seamless, witty, thought-provoking narrative.

Read Full Review of To America with Love | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for To America with Love
85%

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