True to the wanderlust tradition of Kerouac’s On the Road and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, Robert Wolf’s In Search of America is the very personal journey of a young man in his twenties searching for meaning in his life. Riding open boxcars with hobos, hitchhiking with strangers across the Midwest, working on a New Mexico ranch and at odd jobs, teaching school to avoid the Vietnam draft and living an unencumbered life, he searched for people who expressed something deeply American. Robert Wolf is a man who enjoys people, loves to hear their stories and learn about their lives as he tries to put rhyme and reason to America then and now. His stories come alive as ordinary men and women—whether in bars or greasy spoons, in old-time Western opera houses or the Santa Fe artist colony—recount their hopes and dreams, their ambitions and their fears. In Search of America is a special time capsule, capturing an iconic period in American history whose themes still resonate with meaning today.
“Long before our nation lost its rough edges of individuality, when strangers were welcomed instead of feared, Robert Wolf abandoned the middle class expectations of his family and headed West to create his own future of books, art, and music. He came of age in the 1960s riding rails, hitching rides, and camping under the stars. In rowdy bars, artists’ studios, and raw-boned ranches, Wolf found the soul of this vast and sprawling nation. In Search of America is a singular roadmap to a life well lived, one with perseverance, audacity, and the courage to push against the crushing wheel of American conformity. We should all live such a life.”
—Stephen J. Lyons, author of Going Driftless, Life Lessons from the Heartland for Unraveling Times.