What happens when you curse your own country? In this version of the classic Americana tale your host is sentenced to live out the rest of his days in a hot air balloon. In part one we hear the story of what happened when he fought the “three strikes you are out forever” law and lost. Plus Howard Zinn on the myth of American Exceptionalism.
The American writer Edward Everett Hale first published his story The Man Without a Country in the pages of the Atlantic in December 1863. It is the story of an army lieutenant named Philip Nolan, who in his youth cursed America. The judge sentenced him to live out the rest of his life consigned to a US navy ship – never to set foot or eyes on his native land, and this sentence was carried out to the letter. In this version your host curses America and is sentenced to live out the rest of his days on a hot air balloon.
This is the definitive version of a story I have been working on for many years. It includes a historical examination of various versions of the tale that have been produced over the last hundred years as well as audio from a conversation I had with Howard Zinn in 2005, and the one and only Glynn Washington (host of the radio show Snap Judgement) shares his own story of growing up black in a Christian white-supremacist cult.