cover image America, You Sexy Bitch: 
A Love Letter to Freedom

America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom

Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black. Da Capo, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-306-82100-4

In this cross-country tour of America, the authors make odd companions: McCain (Dirty Sexy Politics), the Republican daughter of John McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, and Black (You’re Not Doing It Right), a Democrat and comedian. In between touring national landmarks and meeting locals, they spar over hot-button issues. Whether they are comparing the highs and lows of the Clinton presidency at his national library in Little Rock, Ark., or discussing race, sex, and the military at Fort Campbell, Ky., the book does an admirable job balancing each party’s perspective and the personal associations the authors bring to the issues. McCain’s own family’s military history and concern over gun control laws contrast nicely with Black’s concerns regarding health care, and help anchor larger issues to individual lives. The narrative is particularly lively when their city visits become outlandish, like an exploration of the American dream as realized by Yakov Smirnoff in Missouri or the sex industry in Las Vegas, Nev., but the book is less overtly funny than expected. As stereotypical party associations and extremism boil down to a genuine concern for the future of America, the result is surprisingly heartfelt. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July)