The United States of America: rich, diverse, well-fed, proud, free. The United States of America: poor, hungry, scared, oppressed. There are those who say the United States is an empire, a dictatorship possessing fascistic elements. There are others who insist it's a democracy, or a representative republic: the realized dream of the founding fathers. Can both assessments be correct? How can the nation known as the United States of America be both? How can there be two totally different views of the same thing? Is America an empire, or a democracy, or somewhere in-between? I travelled from one end of the country to the other exploring these questions: by train, plane, bus, and micro-bus.