In 1991, Stevenson moved from Brooklyn to a house in the vineyards outside Geneva, Switzerland. In this book he writes about his travels around Europe ("On a hot July evening, in the company of other backpackers, we boarded the midnight Geneva-Trieste express and scrambled to our compartment, so that long into the night children could bicker about who was most deserving of the upper bunks.") and his impressions of visiting the United States ("the size of the suburban houses made me think America has become a nation of great Gatsbys.")
In these essays, Stevenson, with wit and insight, describes crossing Poland by bicycle, the countries of former Yugoslavia, visiting the battlefields of Okinawa, and Albania'™s brave new world ("The province of pyramid schemes and stolen cars"). He explores the myths of Omaha Beach and Steven Spielberg'™s Saving Private Ryan ("a war movie by a guy who has seen a lot of war movies"). Whenin New York after September 11, he recalls his earlier visits to Asian battlefields ("the skeletal frame of the Trade Center evokes the dome at Hiroshima").