There is a non-fiction reading group that meets monthly (mostly) on the first Monday of each month. For March 5th we have chosen “The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened” by Bill McKibben
Like so many of us, McKibben grew up believing―knowing―that the United States was the greatest country on earth. As a teenager, he cheerfully led American Revolution tours in Lexington, Massachusetts. He sang “Kumbaya” at church. And with the remarkable rise of suburbia, he assumed that all Americans would share in the wealth.
But fifty years later, he finds himself in an increasingly doubtful nation strained by bleak racial and economic inequality, on a planet whose future is in peril.
And he is wondering. What the hell happened?
In this book, McKibben digs deep into our history (and his own well-meaning but not all-seeing past) and into the latest scholarship on race and inequality in America, on the rise of the religious right, and on our environmental crisis to explain how we got to this point. He finds that he is not without hope. And he wonders if any of that trinity of his youth― The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon ―could, or should, be reclaimed in the fight for a fairer future.
In the past, the group has read a wide variety of non-fiction titles, ranging from science (Brief answers to the Big Questions by Steven Hawking), the natural world (What It’s Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley, An Elephant in my Kitchen by Francoise Malby-Anthony), memoirs (Educated by Tara Westover, Becoming by Michelle Obama), and social issues (Caste, the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein).
If you are interested in joining the group, contact email@example.com and we will add you to the distribution list for voting and the Zoom link for the meeting. All are welcome.
Those involved in the group are sent a list of books with descriptions for consideration in future discussions. We have multiple votes that can be used all for one book or spread out among several. The book with the highest number of votes is chosen.