The 22 Rivers Project is not supported by advertising or corporate sponsorships. Instead, our experiment in slow journalism from the view of a canoe—now in month six of a two-year narrative journey across America—is powered only by the generosity of the public.
Individual donations are essential to help the 22 Rivers Project stay afloat. Thanks to reader enthusiasm, our project is able to maintain its editorial independence while continuing its mission to listen, and document, and connect. Together, we’ll gain a unique insight into the soul of the America that we can share with everybody who cares not only for the United States, but of the global community at large. Please join the journey.
You can also support the 22 Rivers Project by purchasing a copy of Neal’s books.
Down the Mississippi. You can preview and purchase via Amazon here.
When CNN citizen journalist Neal Moore slid his canoe into the headwaters of the Mississippi River to begin a 2,300-mile odyssey across the midsection of the United States, he was acutely aware of another American who filled his tales with what he saw and heard along the river: Mark Twain. Neal was doing what every self-respecting Twain-enthusiast wishes to do. He was on The River. And in it. And alongside it. He was in bright sun and harm’s way. Neal was attracting characters as they attracted him, and their stories poured forth. Whether interviewing a Delta musician singing the economic blues, an Ojibwe dancer sharing a secret tradition, or an inmate doing 25 to life at “The Farm,” Moore’s stories are imbued with the most common of all American traits: optimism.
Homelands: A Memoir. You can “Look Inside” and purchase via Amazon here.
At age 19, Neal Moore, a drug-addled sixth-generation Mormon, bids farewell to his cancer-stricken mother and grants her dying wish: to become a missionary. Accepting an assignment to the South Africa Cape Town Mission, Elder Moore goes from the comfortable, upper-class suburbs of his native Los Angeles into a nation emerging, sometimes violently, from the strictures of racial apartheid. It’s the early 1990s, a volatile period between Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and ascension to power. And nowhere is the struggle more intense than in the black townships where Moore is assigned to take up residence. But this naive and troubled “soldier of God,” who toys with suicide because of the deaths of an idolized older brother and his mother, finds solace in the friendship and solidarity of the people he’s been sent to teach, the Xhosa. Evocative, disturbing and at times hilarious, Homelands is the true tale of one youth’s discovery that there is a world beyond one’s own culture and beliefs, set against the backdrop of a nation in motion, struggling to define itself on the road to freedom.