"It's 20-odd months since Tom Humberstone and I hitched our way through sub-zero temperatures to see prospective Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama speak at a rally in the snow-caked fringes of Iowa City. Fuck it was cold that day. Few thought it would be possible on 3 January 2008, the day of the Iowa Caucus, but yesterday President Obama addressed the UN about his vision of a multilateral American future, about leaving the Bush era behind, and everyone nodded. Of course he said that; we knew he was going to say that. It's funny how quickly extraordinary events become normalised. The New Statesman's myopic, Clinton-obsessed US editor decided (from the comfort of his desk, naturally) Obama was finished within a week of the Iowa rally. Ha."
We had no copies left to sell, nor did we have any business cards or, in fact, anything to promote our work. In a way, that seemed to be for the best. Equal parts shambolic and noble. The My Fellow Americans way.
It was a great weekend. Many thanks to the organisers and everyone who helped out on the day. There were many moments where Dan and I felt we were getting a chance to relive the My Fellow Americans trip - for which we were grateful. Sitting around in bars, re-reading the book and discussing anecdotes ahead of the talk... there was something very enjoyable about it all.
Of course, we were a little anxious when it came to do the talk. But it went extremely well. The hour flew by. People seemed genuinely interested in our journey. And they laughed in the right places. An hour-long Q&A followed in which we offered as much political insight as we could, and then we headed to the bar to relax before our journey home the next day.
A new experience for the both of us, but one I can see us happy to try again at some point. In the meantime I need to get started on making My Fellow Americans available to download as a pdf. The kindle and e-book readers are the way to go at this point I think.
Due to our nerves, we didn't think to get any photos from the weekend so I've chosen to throw a few from the trip itself on here.
There's also an interview with Dan here - with some of his thoughts about My Fellow Americans and grass-roots reportage.