Road Trip: Professor’s book on bus travel reveals portrait of America

Author Kath Weston, an Anthropology PhD from Stanford University, grew up in a working-class family and attended college with the help of financial aid, took her first bus trip alone when she was 16, and that unforgettable trip showed her that traveling on the bus was much more than just a way to get somewhere.

Before joining the University of Virginia faculty this fall, she spent more than five years crisscrossing the nation on buses, chronicling the lives of Americans who travel via the least expensive mass transportation option. She refers to her new book, Traveling Light: On the Road with America’s Poor, as a journey full of unexpected richness. Her new book describes her fellow passengers’ colorful humanity and tackles issues of class, race and dubious access to America’s opportunities.

For more information about the show or to see the full text, visit the Oscar Show’s blog

4 Replies to “Road Trip: Professor’s book on bus travel reveals portrait of America”

  1. Thanks for the information. I hope that more people would see the portrait of real America and that it’s not just about the American dream that everyone always wanted.

  2. I’ve crossed America by bus many times, traveling more than 100,000 miles. As an undergraduate I studied the work lives of intercity bus drivers. As with its passengers, the bus industry’s drivers and other workers live rich, interesting lives. Years later I continue to ride the bus, meeting interesting passengers and experiencing life on the road. As a fellow anthropologist I look forward to reading Kath Weston’s book. Thank you for the tip and podcast.

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