A Traveling Man

Bill Bryson doesn't look like a troublemaker. With his corduroy jacket, woolly pullover and roughly trimmed beard, he seems more the mild-mannered, professorial sort than a travel writer famous for his savage wit. This is, after all, the man who dismissed Australia's capital with the epithet "Canberra? Why Wait for Death?" Of Bradford, England, he opined that its sole purpose is "making every place else look better by comparison." And he doesn't hesitate to skewer his fellow Americans. Bryson's first book, a 1989 exploration of small-town U.S.A. called The Lost Continent, included the following comment about a gaggle of pushy pensioners:...

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