ANTHEM by Shainee Gabel


An American Road Story
Email this review


 The record of a four-month-long trip around America with a videocamera in 1995, in search of some defining ideas of American purpose and identity, by two young women who make very pleasant company. The virtue of the narrative (a feature-length documentary is also being released) is that Gabel and Hahn's winning sincerity gained them entry to a number of influential figures, from George Stephanopoulos to George McGovern, and from Robert Redford to Hunter S. Thompson, and their wide-eyed fascination with what they found clearly touched a number of their subjects. Some of their interviews (with the rap artist Chuck D and the environmental activist Wes Jackson, for instance) did provoke some frank answers. The drawback is that their questions tend to be somewhat simplistic, and their reactions to their surroundings are uninformed by much sense of history, focusing on matters (the extraordinary variety of American landscapes, life on the road) that may be new to them but that have been thoroughly covered by many before them. A work of modest but real charm. (First printing of 75,000)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-380-97419-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1997