PSPPI header - Tom Zoellner

February 23, 2022

Paul Simon Institute to host virtual conversation about America’s cultural changes

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute will host a virtual conversation with author and journalist Tom Zoellner at noon Tuesday, March 1.

Zoellner and John Shaw, institute director, will discuss Zoellner’s book “The National Road: Dispatches from a Changing America,” an essay collection that provides unforgettable glimpses into life in disparate pockets of the country.

Their conversation also will cover Zoellner’s career in journalism and teaching.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held over Zoom. Registration is required. Visit to register.

Zoellner is the politics editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and formerly a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Arizona Republic. He is a New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books and his writing has been published in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Foreign Policy, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He also teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College.

“For those of us trying to understand the shifting physical, social and psychological landscape of America, there is no better travel companion than Tom Zoellner,” Shaw said. “He is an astute observer, evocative writer and bold adventurer.

“Above all, he is deeply curious about our always transforming, complicated country.”

Attendees are encouraged to submit questions for Zoellner with their registration or via email to

This event is part of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s Understanding Our New World virtual conversation series with government and private sector leaders, policy experts, political analysts, authors and journalists.