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Publisher's Summary

Two friends - a Democrat and a Republican - travel across America "on a deeply personal journey through the heart of a divided nation...to find growth, hope and fundamental strength in their own lives" (Bob Woodward) and the country they love, in good times and bad. 

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, DC.

Over the months, Jordan and Chris' friendship blossomed not in spite of, but because of, their political differences. So they decided to hit the road in search of reasons to strengthen their bond in an era of strife and partisanship. What follows is a three-year adventure story, across 44 states and along 20,000 miles of road to find out exactly where the American experiment stands at the close of the second decade of the 21st century.

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 one epic 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?

©2020 Jordan Blashek and Christopher Haugh (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"Union takes readers on a deeply personal journey through the heart of a divided nation. Haugh and Blashek discover an instinct to endure and improve that is shared by the left, the right, and the ever-narrowing center, and detail Americans' abilities to find growth, hope, and fundamental strength in their own lives." (Bob Woodward, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author)

"In the great tradition of American road trip sagas, Chris and Jordan set out across America. Two young people with different politics and outlooks, they were able to see the cool and inspiring things that bind us as a nation. Now more than ever, this is an important book-and also an enjoyable one!" (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs)

"More than ever, America needs people like Chris and Jordan to teach and inspire us to build our own bridges across the diverse experiences and perspectives that make up our great country. Union is a book for anyone who believes in the future of America, despite this moment of polarization and divided politics. This beautiful travel log gives us hope for a more optimistic shared future." (Kerry Healey, President of the Center for the Advancement of the American Dream, former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts (R)

What listeners say about Union

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Read

We follow two best friends with opposing political views across the country to meet its diverse and opinionated people. Some in real struggles to change their lives, better their lives.
There are a few fights between the friends, centering on their candid discussions about differing views on race, policing, climate, and also the struggle to be heard as more than just a Republican or a Democrat. I actually would have like more of those conversations!
The writing is poetic and ultimately we come away feeling very hopeful that we can find common ground.

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Inspiring concept written wonderfully

In a world where unfriending seems more prevalent than befriending, a story in search for a more perfect Union is just the prescription. The story of understanding perspective while striving for hope combined with Chris and Jordan’s eloquent writing make this a 5 star recommendation.

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Two douchbags go on road trips

This book is about two rich kids who have differing political preferences basically sharing topical arguments they have in the car.

A good read for any perp school 15 year old. I wasn't impressed with any of the findings and didn't really care for either of the guys.

An unnecessary and pointless read. As far as the audio goes... it is well read.

Maybe insightful for wealthy out of touch Americans who may learn something from the different folks met in the stories.

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Inspiring hope and unity

This is a hopeful piece of work. I wanted to listen because I was not feeling very connected to people in our immediate community or with people across our nation. I had people in my life who I had thought were friends and they turned out to be more like acquaintances. This is/was mostly due to political differences. I wondered how, per the title, a Democrat and a Republican could be friends since our entire country seems so divided. Without giving any of the details of the journey away, I can say that what Jordan and Chris share left me feeling inspired and hopeful that I and others can find peace and unity.
I believe that this book is for everyone who desires to put the division that has plagued our country behind and anyone who wants see that a difference of opinion is just that. We should be able to sit down and talk to one another. We may disagree yet it does not make us enemies.

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the story our country needs

the story of coming together from two different sides and learning to understand the other side. the only hope for our country.

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it's even better as an audiobook

it's a great listen, and a great reader. I highly recommend the audio version of this book

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