When journalist and singer/songwriter Doug Levitt quit his job to embark on a cross-country bus excursion, he didn’t know what to expect. What Doug Levitt got was an up close and personal view of what it’s like to barely survive in one of the richest countries on Earth.
The Greyhound Diaries took Levitt to all parts of the country. Over 10 years, he logged nearly 120,000 miles and met an eclectic assortment of characters along the way. They all shared the same thing in common: finding the American dream that has thus far alluded them. Levitt’s career as a war correspondent took him to a number of war torn countries. He saw first-hand the terrible consequences of war — death, poverty, starvation and homelessness. Some parts of America bore a strong resemblance to what he witnessed abroad. “I wondered how this could happen in America,” said Levitt. Over the years, he collected pictures, mementoes and even songs to mark the events. The idea was patterned after the government-sanctioned WGA initiatives of the 1930s that documented suffering during The Great Depression and Dust Bowl era and more information click here.
In an interview with the U.K. Independent, Levitt discussed how he befriended a Neo Nazi during his travails. During the 20-hour journey, the man, who proudly sported tattoos and a swastika was much more than cordial. Levitt has crisscrossed the nation more than 20 times. At one point, he stayed on the road for 7 weeks straight. He says the project has also been therapeutic for him. Levitt’s father committed suicide when he while he was still in high school. Talking to total strangers helped him come to terms with the experience and learn more about Doug.
Levitt was born in Washington, D.C. to the mother who was a city councilwoman and a physician father. After graduating from the London School of Economics, he became a journalist. Levitt has taken his Greyhound Diaries tour on the road and performed it a venues including Walter Reid Hospital and The Kennedy Center.