This is a series of ""essays"" about the author's recent travels and/or literary experiences in the British Isles, in Paris, Spain, Crete and Istanbul. There are also chapters devoted to the New York literary world and to the author's own town, Chicago. Who Lost An American is certainly, not a travel book but rather a hodge-podge of Algren's feelings about certain events in the recent past, his fellow writers and the particular place he happens to be in at the time. Nelson Algren is a proletarian writer with meta- physical attitudes and his alignments, literarily speaking, are tricky. He has practically no respect for his American contemporaries and he puts down the Beat just as much as he deplores the Upbeat. His fast friend throughout is Simone de Beauvoir and he recalls fond memories here of Paris in 1949 - before Juliette Greco and the existentialist ""look"" was discovered. Algren also has a good deal to say about Chicago's sociological phenomena, particularly Playboy magazine but for the most part the book is best a guide to Nelson Algren himself.