Tom Zoellner’s The National Road, Dispatches from a Changing America is a collection of essays that are presented as a travelogue, but are rather disparate studies on several American topics. Zoellner takes to the highways and byways of a vast land in seaarch of the soul of its people. The places he visits are grouped into chapters and the topics he covers are diverse and important. “Today our country is slowing down and staying in place — an effect that Covid-19 only accelerated,” Zoellner writes. “A country on the move seems to be more reluctant than ever to pick up and go.” The National Road “is a chronicle of Zoellner’s wanderings and wanderlust, what he calls his “unspecified hunger” to cover the lower 48 states with “a coat of invisible paint.” It is also a sneakily ambitious book whose 13 “dispatches” present a sweeping view of the American land and its inhabitants — how each has shaped, and deformed, the other, said Jody Rosen in a review for The New York Times.