Book Review: The Longest Walk (2015)

“My epic trek from tip to tip of the Americas” (1977-1983), Author’s Edition
by George Meegan, Free Man Publishing Company, 2015

TLWSure there’s a lot of background to the ultimate edition of a sleeper book that I expect will fire the popular imagination of large numbers of youth of the world who still read… in no time at all. George Meegan is a one-of-a-kinder, who grew up from nothing in jolly ol’ England, dreamed of being an adventurer, dropped out of school to join the British merchant marine, then decided one day he would walk the Americas from South to North. And did.

This account doesn’t have any counterpart in the literature of the ages: it’s at once a journal and also an ever-morphing flow of humanity through the window of an intrepid Englishman’s eyes and shoes (twelve pair, 19,019 miles). It’s an indescribable delight to join with this work as its final editor, to appreciate the original writing, of course, yet also the fine editing work performed by exceptionally caring individuals at Dodd, Mead, and Company before it succumbed to death by the conglomerates—here’s the kicker, Dodd, Mead went belly up just as Longest Walk the First is about to go to press! Continue reading

Democracy Reaches the Kids! (2014)

Rekindling the joy of learning
by George Meegan

Democracy Reaches the KidsDemocracy Reaches the Kids! is a tour de force, a blockbuster, and a game changer. It delivers a blow to the ‘education industrial complex’ from which it will not recover, and we are all the better for it. One of the higher density books of ideas-per-page you’ll ever read. Meegan’s pace is quick and energetic, a rich tapestry of facts from all over the world—pertaining to education, both how it has been and how it can be. Taking it all in is like reading Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, though Democracy! shines with genuine compassion and focus. Where Mr. Toffler tends to overwhelm the reader with technology ahead of its time, Mr. Meegan shows us how to liberate our souls and become humanely connected to one another through life-learning.

So who is this guy George Meegan, coming from out of the blue? Per Wikipedia:

George Meegan is a British long-distance walker best known for his unbroken walk of the entire Western Hemisphere from the southern tip of South America to the northernmost part of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay. This journey on foot was of 19,019 miles (30,608 km) in 2,425 days (1977-1983) and is documented in his book The Longest Walk (1988). He has appeared often in the press including the Today Show three times, CBS Morning News and on Larry King Live. Meegan lives Internationally and has a wife, Yoshiko, in Japan. They have two children. He ran as an Independent candidate for the Gillingham and Rainham constituency for the 2010 General Election.

Reading further in the Wiki article, which describes Democracy!, you’ll see George’s self-identified life mission since finishing the Longest Walk has been to preserve culture and language, what he saw so many of during that Herculean journey 35 years ago. The book sprang from notes George gathered during the thousands of miles he traversed and the hundreds of communities that he called home for days, weeks, sometimes months and years. Continue reading

Book Review: The Truman Prophecy (2015), Excerpt #9

From Part 2: Toto, Curtain #7: ‘Botting’ Junior

Pod1[Excerpt from The Truman Prophecy, due for publication 12/25/15.]

Independent study, community service, adventures in experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships, the one day variety or longer: these are all powerful, cheap and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. — John Taylor Gatto

___________________4Q 2015

With a reluctance bred of long familiarity, yet firmly Troy Barlow came on board. He realized that TV and compulsory state schooling were the 1-2 sacred-cow PUNCH designed by the Men of the Power Sickness to knock out the last hopes of Independent humanity.

Troy, standing on the shoulders of giants of reform John Taylor Gatto and George ‘Longwalker’ Meegan, saw that the days of forced factory schooling for ‘the masses’ were coming to an end. Or… if not, the human race surely would. Continue reading