The Spy has had a unique relationship with the award-winning Wall Street Journal writer Neil King, Jr. ever since we published his essay on Frederick Douglass in the spring of 2019. Entirely overqualified for this tiny, off-the-radar, non-profit news project, Neil nonetheless reached out to us after he began using Talbot County as his retreat from a very demanding Washington life, and sent a kind email indicating his interest in helping with a special project or two.
That first project was entitled Statues and Fields (done with the collaboration of his friend and photographer Jeff McGuiness) not only proved to be one of the most popular articles we’ve published but also set an entirely new standard for the Spy newspapers on how powerful writing and powerful photography can merge to tell a story.
Shortly after we published the article, Neil, now formally retired from the WSJ, told me that he literally needed to take a walk before he would have time for another Spy contribution. And a few weeks later, he stepped out of his Capital Hill home and spent the next several weeks walking to New York City.
That walk is now documented in Neil’s new book entitled American Ramble which was just released by Mariner Books and is already earning the author high praise from the likes of Ken Burns, James Fallows and biographer Evan Thomas. And while his book tour has just begun, he has now resumed his Eastern Shore life and stopped by the Spy studio to reflect on this masterful journey through a special part of America and his own soul.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. Title photo by Jeff McGuiness.Video editing by Henley Moore. American Ramble can be purchased at the Bookplate in Chestertown or Flying Cloud Books in Easton. It is also available from Amazon.