Books: Road Scholars

Take a tour of the summer's best travel writing--and remember why you decided to stay home

Travel writers used to know what they were doing. Hemingway was the model: bluff and swaggering, machete for a pen, wouldn't be caught dead in a fanny pack. But since Papa's time, travel writers have become either less macho or more honest or both. Now they're our fellow road worriers: jet-lagged, air enraged, lost their laptops three changes back, their dignity sometime before that.

In a way, it's a relief. Hemingway made you feel like a lazy chump for missing out on the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but the new breed of travel books gives you the oxymoronic pleasure...

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