PositiveLibrary JournalWith copious historical examples, the book explains that linguistic changes are often decried when new, but over time outrage gets muted, general usage absorbs the evolutions, which then become part of standard English. Fridland issues an open invitation to more deeply understand and celebrate the English language.
PositiveLibrary JournalThe narrative works as a memoir, a history treatise, and a travel adventure. The author comes to terms with his mother’s death on this journey, but he also places his traveling adventures into a broader historical framework of how flatboats epitomized frontier resilience and ingenuity. Simultaneously, he also explores modern politics and culture, reflects on economic realities both past and present, and considers both ugly and uplifting aspects of American history ... The author’s use of cited local history books in libraries along his journey gives the book a strong factual basis as a history text, and his incorporation of literary words from writers of the flatboat era infuse his own writing with humor and poetic charm. Highly recommended for all libraries.