In the video introduction to Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression, written by Dale Maharidge with photographs by Michael Williamson, Bruce Springsteen talks about how the authors inspired him to write the song “Youngstown.” Springsteen often gave this introduction to “Youngstown” on his Ghost of Tom Joad tour.

Maharidge and Williamson have started a video blog, The Road to Someplace Like America, where they chronicle spending the last thirty years investigating the state of the working class in America, traveling more than half a million miles by train, bus, and automobile. The blog, which includes photos and an audio diary, can be viewed on or on the UC Press YouTube channel.

Delve in to the fascinating, heartbreaking world of hobos, railroad cops, and deindustrialized cities with the two videos below—Bruce Springsteen’s introduction to Someplace Like America, and episode 12 of the video blog, The Road to Someplace Like America.