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Mentioned in Dispatches: The Travel Essays of an Expatriate American Hardcover – November 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Odysseus Books (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970913338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970913333
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,311,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Here is the new collection of essays from Matthew Stevenson, a contributing editor of Harper’s magazine, who lives in Switzerland and is the author of the critically acclaimed Letters of Transit: Essays on Travel, History, Politics and Family Life Abroad, which the poet Robert Watson called "a stunning book, the best travel writing I have seen for years."

In 1991, Stevenson moved from Brooklyn to a house in the vineyards outside Geneva, Switzerland. In this book he writes about his travels around Europe ("On a hot July evening, in the company of other backpackers, we boarded the midnight Geneva-Trieste express and scrambled to our compartment, so that long into the night children could bicker about who was most deserving of the upper bunks.") and his impressions of visiting the United States ("the size of the suburban houses made me think America has become a nation of great Gatsby’s.")

About the Author

Matthew Stevenson was born in New York City in 1954 and grew up on long Island, attending Buckley Country Day School and Friends Academy. His university degrees are from Bucknell and Columbia universities, and he spent a year abroad with the Institute of European Studies in London and Vienna. He moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1991 and there managed a Swiss bank until 2004. He is a contributing editor to Harper'™s Magazine, and his essays have appeared in such magazines as The American Scholar, The American Spectator, Hogtown Creek Review, and Global Vision. He is married to Constance Folger, who, before moving abroad, designed books for Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Harper Collins. They have four Children, ranging in ages from seventeen to nine, who attend various Geneva public schools.

More About the Author

Matthew Stevenson was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island, attending Buckley Country Day School and Friends Academy. His university degrees are from Bucknell and Columbia universities, and he spent a year abroad with the Institute of European Studies in London and Vienna. He moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1991 and worked in banking until 2004. He is a contributing editor to Harper's Magazine, and the host of The Travel Hour, a radio program. He is a panelist on World Radio Switzerland's Not So Foreign Affairs, a weekly broadcast. His articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications in the U.S. and Europe. His books include: Letters of Transit, Mentioned in Dispatches, An April Across America, and, most recently, Remembering the Twentieth Century Limited. His forthcoming book is: Whistle Stopping America.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Martin on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I shouldn't be the least surprised that I liked "Mentioned in Dispatches" so much. I'd read and reviewed Stevenson's first collection of essays "Letters of Transit," a few years back and enthusiastically gifted copies to friends and family. I'd read a good many of the essays in Mentioned before the thing came out and even had the great luck to publish one of them in the literary magazine I edited. So count me as one `familiar with the writer's work.' That said, I was still completely knocked-out by "Mentioned in Dispatches" and read the book in one go-something I never do. You'll hear this over and over from those that have read this book but it won't make it any less true: reading these essays is indeed like having a good, long talk with someone who knows their stuff. This is a terrific book by one of America's best writers.

Stevenson sets off to places that light up his imagination and curiosities; he knows a lot a about where he's going because more often than not he's read a good bit about the place before getting there. Later after a visit he'll read some more stuff. Then I think he winnows away the junk as he reflects on the place and the knowledge he's come to. At least that's my thinking. There's a lot of territory covered in Mentioned: boyhood trips to Virginia inspire a piece on the early history of the country (one of my favorites); there's a good one on Serbia and Montenegro; a bike trip through Poland with his wife is particularly moving. Not all the essays are `travel essays'- Stevenson doesn't need to travel anywhere to properly reintroduce America to Jim Bouton in "Field of Schemes"; a funny riff on Hillary Clinton's chameleon-like I've always been a Yankee fan pose is another non-travel favorite-that one's called "It Takes a Stadium.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daisy Leopard on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Matt Stevenson has been a travel friend and tour guide through his book

"Letters in Transit" and now again in his new book"Mentioned in

Dispatches. This is more than a travel book. Stevenson has such an in depth knowledge of history that I feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose as he leads me through "Vienna at Twilight" and "War's End in Okinawa."

He has immersed himself in literature and shares excerpts and

quotes with us in each of his essays. Combine this with his own literary style and you have a treat for readers.

His eulogy of Michael Huberman, not only includes quotes from King Lear but his unique phrasing: "Everyone here had those delightful conversations with Michael-a white burgundy of friendship."

Yes, heroes are those who are "mentioned in dispatches." Stevenson is a literary hero.
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