"Why America" tells the story of a young, modern day European immigrant and his quest to discover 'why America' is still as attractive as ever to European settlers and why, 240 years after the Declaration of Independence and 62 years after Ellis Island officially closed as the exclusive port of entry for immigrants from the Old World, Europeans still flock to become full-time residents and citizens of this United States.
To find out if America was indeed as he had imagined, and to help him decide if it was to become his permanent new home, German-born author and traveler extraordinaire Ferdinand Otto Von Galen loaded up his pick-up truck 'Dumbo' and set off on a journey which would take a little over a year to complete. He would cover more than 32,000 miles, visiting small towns as well as big cities, seeing sights and meeting people every step of the way.
The journey was adventurous, imaginative, diverse and, at times, spontaneous and improvised. Traveling lesser-known paths enabled Von Galen to take in obscure and occasionally bizarre sights, such as Atlanta’s Cyclorama (which has nothing to do with cycling) and The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas (which has nothing to do with ranching) – as well as more well-known attractions like Mount Rushmore or the Biograph Theatre in Chicago. For the most part, the author steered clear of more traditional tourist lures.
Poignant, funny, thought provoking, laced with delightful anecdotes and illustrated with more than one hundred beautiful, undoctored photographs, "Why America" offers a completely fresh look at America and is a must read for anyone – native or foreign – who has yearned to pack up their belongings and set off to experience this unique and wonderful country.