Long Way Round
Through the Heartland by River
“While history doesn’t flow in a circle, it doesn’t always move in a straight line either. Hildebrand charts the improbable ox-bows along its course. Long Way Round shows us the open road as a river with possibility around the next bend.”
Inspired by tales of a mythic Round River, a circular stream where “what goes around comes around,” John Hildebrand sets off to rediscover his home state.
Wisconsin is in the midst of an identity crisis, torn by new political divisions and the old gulf between city and countryside. Cobbling rivers together, from the burly Mississippi to the slender wilds of Tyler Forks, Hildebrand navigates the beautiful but complicated territory of home. In once prosperous small towns, he discovers unsung heroes—lockmasters, river rats, hotelkeepers, mechanics, environmentalists, tribal leaders, and perennial mayors—struggling to keep their communities afloat.
While history doesn’t flow in a circle, it doesn’t always move in a straight line either. Hildebrand charts the improbable ox-bows along its course. Long Way Round shows us the open road as a river with possibility around the next bend.
“Hildebrand writes the kind of travel literature he likes to read. He makes time for conversations and delves into the writing of travelers who preceded him.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“In a narrative that is rhythmic and thoughtful, Hildebrand captures the natural beauty and idiosyncrasies of Wisconsin small towns with ease. Much like a canoe trip with an old friend, Long Way Round is an enjoyable and worthwhile read.”
“Fully absorbing, entertaining, insightful, deftly crafted and thought-provoking read from cover to cover.”
—Midwest Book Review
“A timely and relevant exploration of contemporary social dynamics in Wisconsin. In contrast to simplified narratives and stereotypes often bandied about, the more measured, nuanced, personal, and creative treatment Hildebrand brings to the table is important in Wisconsin and beyond.”
—Keefe Keeley, coeditor of The Driftless Reader
Of Related Interest
LC: 2019008122 F
272 pp. 5.5 x 8.5
2 b/w illus.