By Jan Morris

“The prose sparkles, and everything the author tells glitters and coruscates.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Gives Americans the salutary experience of seeing themselves as others see them. Few such books have had the same combination of freshness and seriousness, of open mind and wary eye.” —The Christian Science Monitor
With more than forty books to her name, Jan Morris is without question one of the world’s foremost authors. ward-winning, world-renowned historian, journalist, and writer. Travelers’ Tales is proud to announce that Morris’s first published book, the work that launched her career, is now back in print as part of the Travelers’ Tales Classics series. Coast to Coast: A Journey Across 1950s America details Morris’s year traveling by car, train, ship, and aircraft across the United States in the early 1950s. The book offers a chance to experience a formative time in America through the eyes of a soon-to-be world-renowned writer. “I did not know it then, and nor did America, but chance had brought me across the Atlantic at the very apex of American happiness.” The author was then James Morris, and America’s identity, too, was markedly different than today.

Setting out from the East Coast, Morris begins an exploration of the cities, towns, rivers, coastlines, and personalities that make up 1950s America. Coast to Coast divides the country into five sections, with New York City as the starting point for the journey: “…the city itself, with its sharp edges and fiery colors, is a thing of beauty.” From here, Morris heads south to a region rife with layers of political and social reality: “…you can never accuse it of dull uniformity.” And beyond this, to the vast West with its glitter and glare: “…the unifying factor of the West is space.”

Coast to Coast is a savvy and entertaining cultural survey of America and Americans, from New England oystermen to Southern plantation owners, Mississippi River deckhands to Deadwood, SD shop keepers, and Lake Forest, IL socialites to Pueblo Indian corn dancers. Morris’s writing infuses each person she meets along the way with wit, respect, and humor. Coast to Coast also includes a new introduction by the author tying the book to the 21st century.

About the author

Jan Morris burst onto the literary scene as a young reporter for the London Times, when, as James Morris, she accompanied the 1953 British expedition that made the first successful ascent of Mount Everest and scooped the world with a report that hit the papers the very day of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Morris is the world-renowned author of more than 40 books, including The World of Venice, Hong Kong, Sydney, The Matter of Wales, and Pax Britannica, which was hugely popular when released and remains an enduring work of literary history. Morris is considered Britain’s foremost travel essayist and historian, and is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales. Her novel Last Letters from Hav was a finalist for the Booker Prize. Coast to Coast reveals the talents of this young writer who would go on to produce book after book of engaging social, and world, commentary.

About Travelers’ Tales

Founded in 1993, Travelers’ Tales publishes the best in travel writing from world-famous authors to new and emerging writers. Our goal is to inspire and enlighten readers through true stories by travelers who have explored the depths of their experiences. The series includes: country and regional guides; books which explore the themes of women’s travel, spirituality, food, humor, and adventure; travel advice books; Footsteps: The Soul of Travel, a series that features single-author travel narratives; and Travelers’ Tales Classics, a series which introduces out-of-print favorites of travel literature to a whole new audience. Coast to Coastis the latest in the Travelers’ Tales Classics series.


The Coast to Coast: A Journey Across 1950s America
By Jan Morris
Travelers’ Tales, April 2002
$16.95, trade paperback, 306 pages, 5 1/8″ x 8″
ISBN: 1-885211-79-1