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August 7, 2011


Last Sunday was my friend Rick’s birthday. But two weeks earlier, his car’s odometer reached 200,000. Which matters more? I know about the miles because he took a picture of […]

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June 20, 2011

Of drones and dragons

Sometimes when I’m writing I get behind on my movie viewing, and so it was only recently that I got to watch “How to Train Your Dragon,” a movie recommended […]

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April 29, 2011

A sweet new lit mag

As literature struggles to retain its place of importance in our cultural life, it’s thrilling to see the birth of a new and serious magazine. The first issue of The […]

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April 26, 2011

Sleeping soldiers

Last week Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. Hetherington was a British photographer who lived in New York. With Sebastian Junger, he made “Restrepo,” the Oscar-nominated documentary about American soldiers […]

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March 1, 2011

Now in paperback

My latest book, The Routes of Man, is now out in paperback, sporting a beautiful new cover and an improved subtitle: Travels in the Paved World. It is available at […]

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December 15, 2010

127 Hours, Aspen, and Me

Recently the wife and I went to see “127 Hours,” Danny Boyle’s film about the real-life misadventure of mountaineer Aron Ralston. Ralston, as moviegoers know, was solo hiking in a […]

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December 6, 2010

Historic roads: going but not gone

For weeks (okay, months) I’ve been meaning to link to this thought-provoking post at BLDGBLOG, written by Geoff Manaugh. It’s about ancient routes all around us — at Monticello and […]

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June 29, 2010

In Memoriam: My Olympus OM-1

Though I’m always after my wife for saving too much stuff, in fact I have the same problem. One thing that’s been particularly hard for me to get rid of […]

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June 4, 2010

Doonesbury, on Roads

Has Garry Trudeau been reading The Routes of Man?             (image via Slate)

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February 28, 2010

A Month of Reviews

Since its launch on February 9 (and even before then, in pre-publication media) my new book has been reviewed in print, on the radio and online. More reviews, I’m told, are […]

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February 20, 2010

Eyes of deVore

One of my favorite photographs of a road is by Nicholas deVore III. Nicholas was one of those rare people of approximately my age or older who grew up in […]

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February 15, 2010

Top Road Books for ‘The Week’

The magazine The Week asked me for a list of my top six books about travel on roads. It’s in the current issue.

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February 14, 2010

The Idea

A reader on my Facebook page, on hearing of my new book, asked simply, “Where did you get the idea?” I thought about trying to answer, but the space for […]

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February 13, 2010

Music for the Road

A lot of us work to music. I used to play music to help get me get going, to start the flow – mostly music without words, and especially guitar […]

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February 10, 2010

Flat Tires and That “Sad Stretch of Road”

The car was feeling sluggish as I drove my son to school last Monday morning. Slow to back out of the driveway, slow to accelerate. Of course it was cold […]

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February 9, 2010

My Driveway

My new book is about roads – roads as a powerful force that change the world, including the people on them. I traveled six transformative roads, in six countries, with […]

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February 8, 2010

Podcast from The Moth

In past years I’ve had the pleasure of participating in The Moth, a live storytelling series based here in New York. Last year podcasts from The Moth became a big […]

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January 10, 2010

Newjack: Teaching in a Failing Middle School

In this article, Peter Sipe compares his first year as a middle school teacher in Brooklyn, New York, to that of a rookie corrections officer at Sing Sing prison.

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