Instead of in Rome for the holidays, author James Atlas and his family found themselves stranded at Newark Airport—and contemplating what happened to our civilisation. We had planned the trip the way all trips are planned these days: searching for the best airline fares on Orbitz and Travelocity; checking out accommodations on our well-thumbed Fodor’s guide; canvassing our friends for advice.
We were on our way to Italy for a week after Christmas—the whole family, five in all, including our daughter’s fiancé.
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