In the year before Donald Trump was elected President, Jordan Blashek, a Republican Marine, and Chris Haugh, a Democrat and son of a single mother from Berkeley, CA, formed an unlikely friendship. Jordan was fresh off his service in the Marines and feeling a bit out of place at Yale Law School. Chris was yearning for a sense of mission after leaving Washington D.C.
They ended up on an epic road trip that resulted in Union: A Democrat, a Republican, and a Search for Common Ground. Blashek and Haugh will be at the National Writers Series to talk about their book in a virtual event right before the general election. Guest host is Neal Rubin, a columnist for The Detroit News who also writes the nationally syndicated comic strip Gil Thorp.
The event is free but NWS suggests a donation for events this fall, to help overcome the loss of ticket revenue from in-person events at the City Opera House. Registration information is on the National Writers Series website, www.NationalWritersSeries.org.
In their search, Jordan and Chris go from the tear-gas-soaked streets of a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, to the Mexican highways running between Tijuana and Juarez. They witness the full scope of American life, from lobster trawlers and jazz clubs of Portland and New Orleans to the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the prisons of Detroit, where former addicts and inmates painstakingly put their lives back together.
Union is a road narrative, a civics lesson, and an unforgettable window into a friendship. We ride along with Jordan and Chris for the whole journey, listening in on front-seat arguments and their conversations with Americans from coast to coast. We also peer outside the car to understand America’s hot-button topics, including immigration, mass incarceration, and the military-civilian divide.
And by the time Jordan and Chris kill the engine for the last time, they answer one of the most pressing questions of our time: How far apart are we really?
There's a Morsels book bundle, available for ordering through Thursday, Oct. 15. It includes a dozen "Christophorbidden Fruit and Jordan Almond" bite-size pastries — yellow cake baked with apples and cinnamon, topped with white frosting and almond crumble — and a hardcover copy of She Was Like That from Horizon Books. The bundles will be available for pickup at Morsels, 321 E. Front St., from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. Order information is available at www.NationalWritersSeries.org.
Union is on sale now and widely available. Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City offers a 20% NWS discount on the book.