Written before Barack Obama was elected US President, but in the atmosphere and with the optimism created by his candidacy, Simon Schama has woven a tale of America that meshes narratives of the present and the past with both journalistic verve and historical stringency, and that portrays a land that uniquely combines tradition and continuity with a yearning for the new and a consistent rediscovery.
Through the broad themes of War, Faith, Nationhood and Prosperity, Schama argues from historical sources and contemporary experiences and observations as he journeys through America, that the land's destiny will be determined by once again referring to history and understanding it in the context of renewal. And he does so with fine prose and colorful anecdotes.
Simon Schama is a British academic and historian (and professor at Columbia University, NYC) but he writes with a broader readership in mind so his work is very accessible (of course if English is not your native tongue really good language skills are required) whilst maintaining a reasonable intellectual standard. Also, the writer loves America, so you should at the very least be prepared to be convinced of its greatness and promise, too.