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America, You Sexy Bitch' a bipartisan road trip

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New book offers differing perspectives on the state of America

While I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most politically aware person in the world, even one as ambivalent as I can see that our political system has largely become one of bickering partisanship. Democrat and Republican, left-wing and right, liberal and conservative gone are the days of cooperation between ideologies. Each side has become more shrill and strident in its insistence that it is the only correct one.

It's a bit of a turn-off, truth be told.

That's why the new book 'America, You Sexy Bitch' (Da Capo, $26) seemed to offer promise. The new book subtitled 'A Love Letter to Freedom' is co-authored by one of the odder politerary (Yes, I made that word up; 'political' + 'literary' = gold!) couples you're likely to find.

In one corner we have Michael Ian Black. He's been working in comedy for 20 years, appearing in numerous movies and television shows. He's perhaps best known for his work with the comedy groups The State and Stella, as well as the film 'Wet Hot American Summer' and the TV show 'Ed.' In the opposing corner, we have Meghan McCain, prominent political pundit and blogger. She writes for the website The Daily Beast and penned the book 'Dirty Sexy Politics.' She also happens to be the daughter of current Senator and former presidential hopeful John McCain.

The idea from the book was born from an unlikely Twitter interaction between these seemingly unconnected people. Almost on a whim, the pair rapidly put together a plan to spend a month in an RV driving across the country and finding out more about America and how it related to the image of the country each of them kept in their own head. From Arizona to Washington DC, from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, from Austin to New Orleans to Memphis to Nashville to Branson it's a road trip of epic proportions.

On the surface, 'America, You Sexy Bitch' feels gimmicky. It's very much a 'he-said-she-said' sort of thing, with Black playing the role of the elitist liberal and McCain serving as the down-home conservative. Those lines of demarcation are prominent perhaps even a bit distracting in the book's early 'getting to know you' pages.

However, Black and McCain soon warm to one another, turning the tension of their initial meeting they had never really met in person before embarking on this project into a warm, almost familial antagonism. Before too long, their widely divergent political views are tempered by a brother/sister dynamic that brings out the best in them both.

Black shoots guns with McCain's brothers. McCain has an existential crisis at a Yakov Smirnoff show. The two of them smoke dope with a New Orleans musician. The two of them hit Vegas's infamous Sapphire Gentleman's Club together. They visit Graceland. They each have their minds blown albeit in different ways by a meeting with Representative Dennis Kucinich. They go to a Michigan mosque. It's a catch-all of all things American.

While there's nothing really groundbreaking here the general takeaway seems to be that Americans don't really care about political parties and partisanship so much as the quality of their own lives 'America, You Sexy Bitch' has a lot to offer. Black and McCain are both very smart and very funny; the oil-and-water quality of their political differences only serves to accentuate that intelligence and humor.

What the two of them clearly have in common is a deep and abiding love of their country, though they may approach those feelings from opposing directions. This book is the product of that love, the product of weeks of forced proximity in a cramped and sweaty RV. Perhaps the best part of 'America, You Sexy Bitch' is the fact that these two wildly different people and their wildly different beliefs were able to find friendship and maybe even the tiniest bit of common ground through their experience.

Whether your state is red or blue, there are some thought-provoking laughs to be had here. No matter which way you lean, 'America, You Sexy Bitch' has something for you.

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