Travel Memoir Examines Big Picture by Exploring Small Towns in Herzog's "Turn Left at the Trojan Horse"

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In TURN LEFT AT THE TROJAN HORSE: A Would-Be Hero's American Odyssey, acclaimed author Brad Herzog examines the big picture by traveling through some of the nation’s tiniest hamlets. According to the LA Times, "This is how a quest should be done!"

Turn Left at the Trojan Horse: A Would-Be Hero's American Odyssey

My goal was to make it intimate yet epic, accessible yet enlightening. To me, that’s the definition of a memorable road trip.

Author Brad Herzog asks us to reconsider the traditional metaphors for America. “The United States is less a melting pot than a masterpiece of pointillism, a dot painting defined not by the broad strokes of mainstream media and metropolitan muscle, but by the smallest dots on the map,” he writes. “The colors blend from a distance; they stand out boldly from up close. If you want to understand America, you have to connect the dots.” With a trilogy of acclaimed books about his exploration of life lessons in small-town America, Herzog has done just that.

Herzog’s latest adventure is TURN LEFT AT THE TROJAN HORSE: A Would-be Hero’s American Odyssey (Citadel Press, 2010). Described as "On the Road" meets "Eat, Pray, Love," it is a cross-country excursion in the spirit of the ancient journey of King Odysseus. But instead of a voyage home to Ithaka following the Trojan War, this would-be hero is making his way toward his alma mater in Ithaca, New York. With middle age bearing down on him and a college reunion on his agenda, Herzog takes stock: How has he measured up to his youthful aspirations? What constitutes a life well-lived? In this day and age, what makes a hero?

To answer those classic questions, Herzog crafts an itinerary taking him through classically-named places – from Athena (Oregon) to Apollo (Pennsylvania). Starting in the shadow of Washington’s Mount Olympus, Herzog makes his way eastward, delving into his own psyche and the lives of everyday heroes along the way. He meets a teacher in a rural one-room schoolhouse in Troy (Oregon), a lifelong hobo in Iliad (Montana), a bomb-diffusing soldier from Sparta (Wisconsin) and an 87-year-old paragon of reliability in Pandora (Ohio).

TURN LEFT AT THE TROJAN HORSE is a personal, philosophical, historical and conversational trek across America and through the universal truths embedded in ancient myths. However, in the end it is simply the story of one man trying to find his way. Says Herzog, who has also published hundreds of national magazine articles and a series of children’s books, “My goal was to make it intimate yet epic, accessible yet enlightening. To me, that’s the definition of a memorable road trip.”

In his first travel memoir, States of Mind(John F. Blair, 1999), he and his wife spent nearly a year on the road in a Winnebago, searching for virtue in places like Pride (Alabama), Wisdom (Montana) and Honor (Michigan). In 2000, it was named one of the ten outstanding books from small publishers and reached #2 on the bestseller list after the author’s appearances on “The Today Show” and “Oprah.” Herzog’s follow-up travelogue, Small World (Pocket Book, 2004), a trek from London (Wisconsin) and Paris (Kentucky) to Moscow (Maine) and Mecca (California), was chosen by Lonely Planet as one of eight travel literature classics, along with books by Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck.

More information on Brad Herzog and his books can be found at Contact Citadel Press (Kensington Books) at


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