TIM ALBERT writer and trainer
TIM ALBERTwriter and trainer

Two Summers: Nixon and Trump by Greyhound Bus

Half a century on - a changed America

'In 1969, aged 22, I spent three happy months travelling 12,000 miles around the United States on Greyhound buses. Half a century later - to the day - I set out to revisit my trip, armed with the 30,000-word diary I had written about it..


Would I find the America of President Trump much altered from the America of President Nixon? How would Greyhound bus travel have changed in a world flooded by motor cars and electronic devices? And would my 72-year-old body last the course?  

'Albert offers rich observations not only about the dramatic cultural and political shifts he witnesses but also about how bus travel has evolved. The book is engaging, insightful, easy-to-read and beautifully written with a big dose of humour' - Irene S Levine.


'A lovely evocation of heady times in America' - James Naughtie


'Tim Albert's chutzpah in repeating his 1969 circumnavigation of the United States by Greyhound Bus again in 2019 sounds like madness - but is actually quite inspiring!' - James Peskin


'A must read for those who simply never got over seeing this amazing America the Greyhound way' - WIlliam Eisenhuth, former Greyhound bus driver

'Not just a changed country but a changed narrator...'


Tim Albert's account of this two Greyhound bus odysseys across America, 50 years apart, is a warm, funny and observant take on the state of the States. The distance in time marks not just a changed country but a changed narrator, writes Alice Allan.


Self-deprecating and wry, Tim’s recreation of a trip his ‘whippersnapper self’ took in 1969 is not just a travelogue, but a quest to find out if this ‘superannuated old timer’ (his words!) has still got what it takes to navigate the often-maligned bus service. His battles with his older body and with the frustrations and mores of modern technology are darkly funny: “The silent man next to me is still turned to the window, at one with his mobile phone. Others around are in the same foetal position: I have no choice but to leave them to their own devices. Literally.'


Crossing the country on a series of uncomfortable and challenging bus journeys our narrator revisits a number of famous destinations (Pasadena, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas to name a few) but it is the more out of the way places that reveal the realities of the inequality, gun crime and immigration that characterise today’s America. His historical and touristic nuggets are fascinating, but it’s the people he meets en route who provide most insight.


Like all good journalists, he contextualises his pundits and gives their views the space to reverberate:  “I kept asking those I met whether they felt optimistic about the future. There was always a pause. Then came a range of answers, from the student of political science who said, ‘I think we’re going to be the best,’ to the caution from the Pasadena police chief: ‘We want to make sure we’re not living through the last days of the Roman Republic.’


Two Summers is both a dip into America’s past and a fascinating snap-shot of the end of Trump’s first term in office. Highly recommended!


 Alice Allan is author of Open My Eyes - that I may see wonderful things (Pinter and Martin)


Publisher: Elbow Publishing

244 pages, b/w illustrations throughout

Paperback: £11.99

Kindle edition: £4.99

Publication date: 1 July 2020

 A Boomer Visits America Coast-To-Coast By Greyhound Bus: 1969 And 2019 - Forbes magazine

Slow travel by train: getting there is part of the journeyMore Time to Travel

BBC Radio Surrey: to hear my interview with Sarah Gorrell about my USA bus tours, click here

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© Tim Albert 2023