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A Cultural and Political Tour of Nations with Andrew Solomon

Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change. New York: Scribner, April 2016.

by Bill Williams

We read Andrew Solomon not just for his scrupulous research on a range of subjects, but also for the pleasure of his gorgeous prose…. In a compelling 44-page introduction the author celebrates the wisdom and necessity of travel for adults and children. He has visited 83 of the world’s 196 countries…. The chapters brim with first-hand reporting about art, music, health and cultural traditions.

…He skewers Donald Trump for proposing a ban on Muslim immigration and advocating that American Muslims be required to carry special identification cards.

“This cruel demagoguery is contrary to our interests. Walling ourselves off from everyone else renders us odious to those who are excluded, providing incentive for them to become radicalized. … The central proposition of this book is that circling the wagons is not only impossible in a globalized world, but finally perilous.”

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