When Singer Songwriter Doug Levitt decided to travel across America by bus, he set out to gather the stories, songs, and life histories of people all across the county. That’s exactly what he did, and his new book, The Greyhound Diaries, offers a unique perspective into what it is like to live in America.
What makes this book unique is that it shows a side of America that most people, unless they live it, don’t get to see. The people whose lives Doug Levitt chronicles in his book are largely poor, unemployed and working class people who are struggling to get by. Many of them are in the middle of a transition in their lives. Moving away from home, returning or going to the army or returning from prison. After all, most people in this country don’t ride the bus unless they have to.
As explained on Tulsa Public Radio, the Greyhound Diaries project is more than just a book. Doug Levitt envisioned the project as something similar to many of the WPA projects in the 1930’s. This is something that is also intended give us a sense of the larger picture of what it like to live in the United States during this time. In addition to the book, the Greyhound Diaries project also includes a number of songs that have been recorded as a pair of EP and a web series.
The project was inspired by WPA projects from the 1930’s. Doug Levitt looked at current poverty statics and wanted to do something the help change them. He decided that by gathering stories and sharing them, he could help change public perception of what it means to be poor in America, and how people become that way.
Doug Levitt is a singer-songwriter who traveled nearly 70,000 miles over a period of 10 years to collect the stories of poor and working poor people who traveled on Greyhound buses. Before traveling the country, he worked in London as a correspondent. While in London he covered conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Africa for NBC, ABC, and CNN.