Bruce Feiler spent two years in Japan and came out with [b:Learning to Bow|260944|Learning to Bow Inside the Heart of Japan|Bruce Feiler|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348650685s/260944.jpg|2536303], where paradoxically his attempts to gain dignity unknowingly made a fool of himself. The reader can figure out when Feiler is being scorned, but it's not entirely clear he knows it, then or at time of writing. Contradictorily, Feiler sets out in this book to be a clown but ends up capturing some surprising dignity of the circus life, which is a cultural phenom on the decline but still maintaining a hold on American culture.
Feiler is in some ways a thinking man's, slightly shambled Simon Winchester. He writes about seemingly unrelated topics across subject fields, and he comes off as submissive and junior in his relationships with others, which if course in the end makes for a better range of access and stories. He recently held an unsuccessful "meet the author" web event he on GR where unfortunately two dozen people showed up, but seen as a totality, of course he is a professional writer and creative. 4/5 evocative description of traveling circus life and subculture