September 23, 2002 12:00 PM

By Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster

There’s more to America than Disneyland and value meals. But how to define it? In a follow-up to 1998’s book and TV special The Century, ABC anchor Peter Jennings and senior editorial producer Todd Brewster take a coast-to-coast journey to find the answer. Unfortunately they get lost along the way. Heavy on verbiage but short on heart, this cumbersome tome reads like an eighth-grade textbook. Tedious essays about the history of taxes and potato chip marketing are surrounded by photos worthy of a Best Western brochure. We get only a glimpse of real examples of American spirit like 285-lb. Anna “Tonka” Tate, who plays pro women’s football, and Janet Snosnicki, a teenage lesbian who proudly brought her girlfriend to the prom. These are the people who make America the home of the brave. (Hyperion, $50)

Bottom Line: Misguided trip

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