MANCHESTER — What happened to America?
That’s the question Vermont author Bill McKibben asks in his new memoir, “The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened.”
He’ll be discussing that book at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester at 5:30 p.m. June 3, in an interview conducted by Joe Donahue of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio.
The book is due to be published on May 31.
McKibben is the author of more than a dozen books, including "Falter," "Deep Economy" and "The End of Nature."
In the memoir, McKibben discusses how he grew up as a teenager in Lexington, Mass., believing that he lived in the greatest country in the world. He looks back at history through the lens of Lexington, a largely white suburb of Boston, and two events central to his experience there — a Vietnam War protest, and a plan to build an affordable housing project.
“I’m curious about what went so suddenly sour with American patriotism, American faith, and American prosperity,” he said in an announcement from the bookstore.
“The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon” digs into American history and into the latest scholarship on race and inequality in America, the rise of the religious right, and the environmental crisis to explain how the U.S. got to this point.
McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and the winner of the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize. He lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern. He founded the global grassroots climate campaign 350.org; his new project, organizing people over 60 for progressive change, is called Third Act.
The event is free and open to the public.