Editor’s Note: In an era of deepening political divide, two friends set out on a road trip across America to discover more about the country they love, in good times and bad. In this edition of Behind the Book, Christopher Haugh and Jordan Blashek tell us about their journey, friendship and what they learned about their country during this difficult time. Read on to discover more about their book, Union, and what they hope readers will take away from it.
What made you want to write about the political divide within America?
Jordan Blashek: Before starting these trips, both of us had spent time in organizations that represented America abroad. Chris worked at the State Department, and I was in the Marine Corps. We both loved the sense of mission and purpose those institutions gave us, and we also got to see the good America does overseas. When we got to law school though, we were struck by how much division we saw around us and across the country. I think we both worried that there was something existential about it. We didn’t start our trips with that in mind, but slowly that sense of lost mission and purpose led us to this book.
Christopher Haugh: Really the road made us want to write about it. Union started as a lark of a drive from New York to California, and it only later matured into a book about travel, culture, and politics. Jordan and I were natural friends, and the politics always came second. Of course, the division became inevitable as we got to know each other better and the 2016 election loomed and crescendoed. How we navigated those choppy waters started to feel timely. And so, we started to write. Continue reading