John Drake Robinson's irreverent glimpses of his beloved state spice Souls Along The Road, his new book about his 250,000-mile journey through Missouri's back roads, backwoods and back yards.

Road Trip Shares Humor, Insight About Show-Me Folks

“Pioneers named hundreds of spots in Missouri after the Devil. It only makes sense. If Hell is historically Missouri’s major export, good marketing dictates you need ample retail outlets.”

John Drake Robinson’s irreverent glimpses of his beloved state spice Souls Along The Road, his new book about his 250,000-mile journey through Missouri’s back roads, backwoods and back yards.

“They’re stories you might not expect to hear from a former state tourism director,” he admits, “including two Harry Truman stories you've never heard from national historians.”

Influenced by Twain and Steinbeck, with a hint of Henry Schoolcraft, Robinson’s journey reflects life’s uneven rhythms, serving up tastes and touches and sounds you can’t coax from a tweet. Accented with humor and history, satire and comfort food, John peels back history and peeks beyond  the veneer to uncover stories of human failings and triumphs.

Robinson served four years as Missouri’s official travel promoter. He’s spent much longer—his whole life—studying Missouri customs, culture and history, weaving them into stories that probably won't show up in a high school history test.

In this age of interstates and instant gratification, Robinson took the long way around the state, with his only constant companion: his car. “...we’ve dodged squirrels and turtles, texters and drunks. We’ve slid sideways in sleet, jumped curbs and low-water crossings. We’ve passed every pun on every roadside marquee, every time and temperature sign, every clip joint and carny barker and corn dog vendor, every barbecue shack and Tex-Mex taco stand. And we’ve stopped at most of ’em.”

Find more about Robinson's journeys at 

Souls Along The Road is available via online booksellers and in fine bookstores.