Neil King with American Ramble: A Walk of Memory and Renewal
This revelatory memoir about a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City takes readers on an unforgettable pilgrimage to the heart of America, across some of our oldest common ground.
Neil King Jr.’s desire to walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City began as a whim and soon became an obsession. Over an extraordinary 26 days, he journeyed through historic battlefields and cemeteries, over the Mason-Dixon line, past Quaker and Amish farms, along Valley Forge stream beds, atop a New Jersey trash mound, across New York Harbor, and finally, to his ultimate destination: the Ramble, where a tangle of pathways converges in New York’s Central Park. Along the way, King traveled deep into America’s past and present, uncovering forgotten pockets and overlooked people. He left behind his urban D.C. neighborhood still reeling from political conflict and the imprints of his long battle with cancer. By turns amusing, inspiring, and sublime, his memoir, American Ramble, offers an exquisite account of both personal and national renewal—an indelible study of our country as we’ve never seen it before.
Neil King, Jr. grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and went to school in Chicago and New York City, where he studied philosophy at Columbia University. He worked a multitude of jobs, from busboy and ranch hand to cab driver and private investigator, before settling into a career in journalism, writing for Tampa Tribune and the Prague Post in the newly born Czech Republic. For 20 years he traveled to more than 50 countries across all continents as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. During his years in Washington, DC, where he lives currently, he served as chief diplomatic correspondent, national political reporter and, at the end, the Journal’s global economics editor. He now travels and writes on his own. He is the founder and editor of Gotham Canoe, an online journal dedicated to life out of doors. American Ramble is his first book.
Presented by the Boston Public Library and Leventhal Map & Education at the Boston Public Library in partnership with American Ancestors’ American Inspiration series and GBH Forum Network