Reflections on Hampton Sides' Americana

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Hampton Sides examines the many and varied subcultures that make up our great nation. In his book Americana he has collected the essays that reveal glimpses into the American psyche we keep hidden from the rest of the world. Through these revelations we meet the true American behind the veil. Our persona as interpreted by the rest of the world fails to show just how eclectic our society really is. By writing these essays, Hampton shows our real selves in a well-written and vivid fashion. His passion for the written word is evident in his approach to the subject of what truly it truly means to be an American.

In “The Birdman Drops In” we meet the growing subculture of skateboard fanatics. The one of the fastest growing segments of the population due to the worship of youth, vitality, and extreme sports. Many people maintain a connection with sport that comes from a history of skating in the early days. What was once just a group of kids skating in dried up pools has now grown into one of the most popular events at the X Games. Skateboarding has influenced new sports such as snowboarding and even changed the way modern surfers surf the waves.

We also meet Tony Hawk; the man behind the phenomenon of Tony Hawk, Inc. Tony has been the greatest influence in the success of the skateboarding industry. Generations of kids look up to him as an inspiration to emulate. He has retained his childlike enthusiasm for his sport and becomes quite the executive. He manages to maintain his appeal with the young skater by staying true to the sport. Much of Hawk’s fame stems from his perfectionist attitude toward skating. He trains and practices several hours just to perfect a new trick. Because of his dedication, the skateboarding life...

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...the story of our people, our lives and our dreams. He writes with vivid description, and objectivity to get to the heart of the issue. His book is a collection of the true American spirit and our unique way of life.

Works Cited

Sides, Hampton. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“The Birdman Drops In”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“Woodstock in Leathers”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“A Murder in Faulkner”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“Sisters of the Bowl”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“Jerusalem on the Mississippi”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“This Is Not the Place”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print.

---“Now Let Us Praise Famous Fish”. Americana. New York: Random House. 2004. Print

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