America the Beautiful - the Truth about the Dead Continent was a best-selling autobiographical adventure book written by alternate historian and explorer Nimrod Pennyroyal during the last decades of the Traction Era. This book claimed that there were lush and habitable regions on the Dead Continent, contrary to popular belief. The entire book was based on the Reykjavik map, a map that wasn't even known to exist.
Freya Rasmussen thinks the book is real and sets Anchorage back towards their old home. She is shocked to discover that the book was made up, but by then it was too late to turn back. They reached the Dead Continent to find that there were lushes growing there, but not as drastically as Nimrod had said there would be. Anchorage settled down in Vineland while Pennyroyal said it had sunk.
However, the book was later exposed as a fraud since Pennyroyal never travelled anywhere. In truth, Pennyroyal wrote the book while staying at the resort town of Paris with the help of Peaches Zanzibar. Following the Green Storm War, Pennyroyal was exposed to the public as a fraud by the Speculum and subsequently lost his credibility.
The story starts out with Nimrod Pennyroyal and three others traveling to the Dead Continent in an Airship to find out if there is anything surviving in America. However the airship crashes in a storm. Three of his fellow explorers are killed in the crash, while the fourth drinks what he thinks is clear water and is poisoned and dies. Pennyroyal goes on alone. Along the way he sees the rusty remains of the skyscrapers. Eventually he is worn out and colapses. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a canoe being rowed by two native American Indians. He soon finds himself in a lush and fertile land of sweeping pine forests and grassy plains. He lives with the tribe, and at one point fights a grizzly bear. However he is forced to flee when the chief discovers that Pennyroyal and the chief's daughter are in love. Nimrod flees north to The Ice Wastes, where he is discovered by a town and rescued.