Tony Horwitz sets himself to (re)discover the colonial America that is absent from textbooks.
A Voyage Long and Strange is a perfect mixture of history and travel writing. Horwitz really knows how to balance short history "lessons" with his own present day insights. As a result, the reader is constantly aware of how the past affects the present. And despite the complexity of the subject Horwitz wrestles with, as finding the true past under the myths can be challenging, he never loses his sense of humor. People on the Chicago train must have wondered why I was chuckling so often while reading a book about colonial America, but the locals the author meets along the way, as well as the inappropriate museums and memorials he visits, are simply hilarious. Hilarious and sad, since his trail is filled with dangerous misrepresentations. Yet another of the author's strengths is that he is never judgmental or preachy regarding the misconceptions that have become facts. His job is to teach us a little history, while entertaining us, and he does it perfectly.