Interview with Political Book Author Larry Alex Taunton #interview #blogtour

Larry Alex Taunton is an American author, columnist, and cultural commentator. A frequent television and radio guest, he has appeared on CNN, CNN International, Fox News, Al Jazeera America, and BBC. You can find his columns on issues of faith and culture in The Atlantic, USA Today,, and The Blaze. Taunton has been quoted by Rush Limbaugh, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, TIME, Vanity Fair, and NPR, among others. He is the author of “The Grace Effect” and “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens.”



About the Book

The belief in “American Exceptionalism” is under attack, declares Larry Alex Taunton, an award-winning author, columnist, and cultural commentator. “A battle rages for the heart and soul of America.”

For Taunton, the question comes down to: Is there a better place to live than America?

To explore the idea of “national greatness,” Taunton went on a global odyssey, visiting some 26 countries. He records his discoveries in his new book, AROUND THE WORLD IN (MORE THAN) 80 DAYS: DISCOVERING WHAT MAKES AMERICA GREAT AND WHY WE MUST FIGHT TO SAVE IT.

If all of this sounds like a slog over some serious philosophic and political terrain, it is, but Taunton’s wry humor leavens the loaf.

In a chapter on Sweden, for example, the author hears, on a boat tour of Stockholm, a litany of Swedish accomplishments from his guides: “America? We discovered that. Skype? We invented it. The flat screen? You’re welcome. IKEA? You guessed it.”

Taunton’s mix of socio-political observations and cheeky wit in AROUND THE WORLD IN (MORE THAN) 80 DAYS opens the book up to a large and diverse group of readers.

The online publication The Federalist says of Taunton’s work: “The social elites want evangelicals to be as dumb as they suspect they are. But when a person comes along who proves that tale false, which Taunton clearly does…they simply don’t know what to do.”

In advance praise for AROUND THE WORLD IN (MORE THAN) 80 DAYS, Paul Reid, co-author with William Manchester, of THE LAST LION: WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL: DEFENDER OF THE REALM, 1940-1965 observes:

Larry Taunton—historian, columnist, and a man of abiding Christian faith—traveled (often at great risk to himself) to twenty-six nations in order to hold a mirror up to the United States of America and ask: Is America Good and is America Great? Mark Twain did much the same more than a century ago. Twain’s and Taunton’s conclusions are identical: There is no place—literally No Place—like home. “Around the World in (More Than) 80 Days is fabulous.”  It’s going on my shelf next to “The Innocents Abroad.”

AROUND THE WORLD IN (MORE THAN) 80 DAYS is a book for all seasons.


“America—the freest, most tolerant and inclusive nation on earth—is under siege by radicals who make no effort to conceal their determination to destroy it. Larry Alex Taunton has provided patriotic Americans with a powerful weapon to defeat our enemies. Buy this book to arm yourself for the defense of your freedoms. Buy a second copy for a friend.”

— David Horowitz, author of Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America

“To truly understand how and why America is exceptional you could travel to country after country and see for yourself. You might even want to write a brilliant book about it! But lucky for you my friend, Larry Taunton has done all the traveling for you—think of the money you’ve saved!—and has written that brilliant book, making the case so clear that you owe it to yourself to grab a copy and read it! Please do!”

— Eric Metaxas, host of The Eric Metaxas Show; author of Bonhoeffer and If You Can Keep It

“The problem with being an American is that familiarity too often breeds contempt because we see our faults up close and take our virtues and blessings for granted. Larry Alex Taunton has provided a cure by lifting us up out of America, and taking us on a long and insightful tour of the world to see how other places actually stack up. Take the tour with him, and gain some very much needed perspective. You may find—as he did—there’s no place like home.”

— Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D., author of 10 Books That Screwed Up the World

“Larry Taunton—historian, columnist, and a man of abiding Christian faith—traveled (often at great risk to himself) to twenty-seven nations in order to hold a mirror up to the United States of America and ask: Is America Good and is America Great? Mark Twain did much the same more than a century ago. Twain’s and Taunton’s conclusions are identical: There is no place—literally No Place—like home. Around the World in (More Than) 80 Days is fabulous. It’s going on my shelf next to The Innocents Abroad.”

— Paul Reid, co-author with William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965


Amazon →

Can you tell us what your book is about?

As a writer who travels a lot, I see a lot: extremes of wealth and poverty; brutal regimes and those that seem impotent to maintain a rule of law; persecuted minorities and monocultures; feted miserable masses and the happy poor—all of this and more.

As the debate over America broke forth into our streets with the defeat of Democrat presidential

candidate Hillary Clinton and the inauguration of Republican Donald Trump in 2016, it occurred to me that most Americans have never been abroad. Indeed, 64 percent have never been to another country. So, when The New York Times declares as they did in 2019 headline, “Please Stop Telling Me America Is Great,” how is one to judge the truth of such a statement?

My book Around the World in (More Than) 80 Days: Discovering What Makes America Great and Why We Must Fight to Save It was my answer to this problem. Don’t have a passport? Can’t get time off? Lack the resources to travel around the world? I’ll do it for you! My book takes the reader on a virtual global expedition, of sorts, touring them through those countries with which America is most often compared and not just a few others.

Why did you write your book?

Because I love my country and believe that we are committing national suicide.

What kind of message is your book trying to tell your readers?

I want readers, Americans mostly, to understand the great blessings bequeathed to us at great sacrifice by our forebears and how we risk losing it all with a cultural temper-tantrum that is tilting toward national suicide.

Who influenced you to write your book?

No individual. It was, rather, the cultural moment.

Is it hard to publish a nonfiction book?

Any book is a labor. The degree of difficulty depends on the depth of your understanding of the issues you intend to address. I felt very much in my element here.

Which author(s) do you admire?

That would be a long list. But I will name a few from the twentieth century: Winston Churchill, Samuel Eliot Morison, William Manchester, Barbara Tuchman, Robert Massie, Paul Johnson, and Graham Greene.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Almost never. But when I do, I leave the keyboard and do something else: go for a run, a bike ride, get work done around my ranch—anything other than writing. In stargazing they will tell you that faint objects will come into focus when you don’t stare directly at them. Look elsewhere and allow your peripheral vision to bring them into view. Writing is a bit like that. Stop staring at the blank page and do something else—preferably something physical and mindless. Your brain will continue to work on the problem subconsciously and by the time your exercise is over, it will produce a solution.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I like to think that I’d exercise, but I’d probably just write more.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

I love the Christmas season: the sights, sounds, and smells of the season. People are generally a bit nicer, happier, more generous during that time of year. It is a happy time.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

A nice, comfortable coffee shop. A full lunch distracts from conversation; coffee enhances it.

What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy reading, traveling, time with my family, and watching sports.

Can you tell us about your family?

I am blessed with a lovely wife and four grown wonderful children. They are all very interesting people who are moving forward productively with their own endeavors. It’s fun to watch.

What do you like the most about being an author?

I love to write. Long before I was ever published, I was writing essays and stories just for my own entertainment. I love working out a problem in written form and helping other people to understand it.

What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?

I’ll quote Pulitzer Prize winning author Samuel Eliot Morison: “First and foremost, get writing! Nothing is more pathetic than the ‘gonna’ [author], who from graduate school on is always ‘gonna’ write a magnum opus but never completes his research on the subject, and dies without anything to show for a lifetime’s work.”

Amen to that. There is no better advice.

I frequently meet people who tell me that they are “gonna” write a book. Each time I see them and inquire as to how the project is progressing, I hear nothing but excuses. I’ve also met many would-be authors who successfully sold a publisher on an idea for a book, signed a contract to write it, and then realized that they hadn’t any clue how to proceed and fulfill the contract. Writing is hard work and requires a lot of self-discipline. Get writing!