Author Ben Montgomery
Please join us on Thursday, January 24, to hear Ben Montgomery talk about his latest non-fiction book, The Man Who Walked Backward: An American Dreamer's Search for Meaning in the Great Depression. After his talk, Ben will be happy to sign copies of his books.
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Like most Americans at the time, Plennie Wingo was hit hard by the effects of the Great Depression. When the bank foreclosed on his small restaurant in Abilene, he found himself suddenly penniless with nowhere left to turn. After months of struggling to feed his family on wages he earned digging ditches in the Texas sun, Plennie decided it was time to do something extraordinary -- something to resurrect the spirit of adventure and optimism he felt he'd lost. He decided to walk around the world -- backwards.
In The Man Who Walked Backward, Pulitzer Prize finalist Ben Montgomery charts Plennie's backwards trek across the America that gave rise to Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, and the New Deal. With the Dust Bowl and Great Depression as a backdrop, Montgomery follows Plennie across the Atlantic through Germany, Turkey, and beyond, and details the daring physical feats, grueling hardships, comical misadventures, and hostile foreign police he encountered along the way. A remarkable and quirky slice of Americana, The Man Who Walked Backward paints a rich and vibrant portrait of a jaw-dropping period of history.
Ben's previous books are Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail and The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II.
Ben Montgomery is a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times and cofounder of the Auburn Chautauqua, a Southern writers' collective. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010 and has won many other national writing awards.
From Pulitzer Prize finalist Ben Montgomery, the story of a Texas man who, during the Great Depression, walked around the world -- backwards.