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The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey
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The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Professor Douglas Brinkley arranged to teach a six-week experimental class aboard a fully equipped sleeper bus. The class would visit thirty states and ten national parks. They would read twelve books by great American writers. They would see Bob Dylan in Seattle, gamble at a Vegas casino, dance to Bourbon Street jazz in New Orleans, pay homage to Elvis Presley's Graceland ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Basic Books (first published March 1st 1993)
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Alexis Borrevik
An absolute must-read! Brinkley's "American Odyssey" was a unprecedented class at Hofstra University that allowed a small group of incredibly fortunate students to spend the semester traversing the American landscape to study the history and pop culture of the United States. While studying our nation's history up close, they read the books, listened to the music, met the people, and saw the places that, together, created this nation. This book makes American history come to life and inspires the ...more
The author/professor clearly stated in the intro that he wanted all the students to look good in the book, which was a nice thing to do but necessarily left some of the human drama out. It would be interesting to read a student's account of the trip - it would probably have more sense of personal growth and change over the course of the journey, and definitely more emotion and relationships (and fewer sometimes-preachy asides).
I LOVED this book. Although I agree with some readers that it can be a bit much with the "I'm best friends with so and so" and the "my personal friend, Mr. X," I must admit that it is a great read.
Not only did I learn a lot about some really historical places, but my reading list and iTunes download list grew by leaps and bounds. Highly recommend this book for something out of the ordinary.
Part travelogue, part history, Brinkley recounts the story of his original American Odyssey course, in which he loaded a class of college students on a bus and studied America visiting sites and the people who made history along the way. Never have I wanted to take a course so badly, but I suppose reading about it is close to the next best thing.
Janette Mcmahon
A book that leaves you asking why? Why is this style of learning not more prevalent, why do discount liberal arts, and why cannot we not truely accept students learn differently? The biggest question of all, why do we stifle our teachers at any level of education? A true American adventure and a wonderful look at where education could possibly take us.
took me down memory lane.
Erica Fauver
Another required read for an English class. I found it interesting in the first couple chapters, but I soon realized it was the same thing every single chapter. I wish there was more of a "point" to it, such as a change in some of the students. I know it is Brinkley's book and he can write what he wants, and he certainly showed that. In short, it felt like one big history lesson.
This book made me wish that I knew more about US history, took more time to enjoy the journey that is college, and spent time educating myself while reading this nook instead of just trying to finish it. Take your time reading this enjoy the journey
Donna Burtwistle-Popplewell
I loved this book--I read it during an American History course at university. I found it extremely entertaining and thoughtful, to boot. It made me want to travel; it made me want to learn the way the students on this bus did.
Derek Fenner
Can't believe I didn't read this when it came out. Brinkley certainly has a passion for the road and teaching history while in its truck stops, diners, landmarks, and surrounded by strangers.
Jenny Brown
Did not finish. I agree with other readers who found it more of a laundry list of places visted with importance noted than a road story in which the journey in some way changes the participants.
Just picked this up again after many yrs of it being on my shelf. Personal connections with these people just make me smile. I could also kick myself for not going!!
Jan 26, 2008 Drichert8 is currently reading it
This book has been so incredible to read. It is part tour book, part history book, and part pop culture. It makes me want to see and explore more of America!
This is good pop history, though the students on the bus sometimes make me cringe in the way that only college students asking "big questions" can.
Victor McGuire
I really appreciated this book. This was the book that initially spurred my idea regarding Teachers on Tour. What a wonderful ride...
Kate Nitti
Coolest book ever! Not currently in print anymore I dont think, but find it used online! SO COOL!
I waffle on this book - part of me really loved it and other parts of me think it's shallow
Made me want to travel
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Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him “America’s new past master.” His most recent books are The Quiet World, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
More about Douglas G. Brinkley...
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America Cronkite The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion Rosa Parks: A Life

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