The book chronicles American porches—real, literary, and cinematic—through cycles of construction, decay, demolition, and restoration. The porch becomes a noble protagonist, battling off nefarious trends such as the deck, the stoop, and the patio.
A journalist, documentary scriptwriter, and television producer, Dolan has written a book that could enthrall anyone, regardless of interest in the ostensible subject. I discovered the origin of the word ciao and learned that Thomas Jefferson’s “personality seem[ed] to express the overlap between the contents of American history books and those of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”
The American Porch would be rather dense beach reading, but if you’re lucky enough to have a porch, there could be no better place to read it.