The Big Roads
The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighw
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“Travelers hitting the highways this summer might better appreciate the asphalt beneath their tires thanks to this engrossing history of the creation of the U.S. interstate system.”—Los Angeles Times
Perhaps nothing changed the face of America more than the creation of the interstate system. At once man-made wonders, economic pipelines, agents of sprawl, and uniquely American sirens of escape, the interstates snake into every aspect of modern life. The Big Roads documents their historic creation and the many people they’ve affected, from the speed demon who inspired a primitive web of dirt auto trails, to the cadre of largely forgotten technocrats who planned the system years before Ike reached the White House, to the thousands of city dwellers who resisted the concrete juggernaut when it bore down on their neighborhoods.
The Big Roads tells the story of this essential feature of the landscape we have come to take for granted. With a view toward players both great and small, Swift gives readers the full story of one of America’s greatest engineering achievements.
“Engaging, informative . . . The first thorough history of the expressway system.”—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
“The book is a road geek’s treasure—and everyone who travels the highways ought to know these stories.”—Kirkus Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Good book. Well researched and well written. Pulls together the long history of cars, driving, and roads in America. Nicely discusses the plusses and minuses of - especially urban - road construction. Does a great job using specific places (Baltimore, South Of The Border, various interstate exits) to illustrate the issues.
The Big Roads Review
What a great piece of literary work! Being an automotive enthusiast, having a great thirst for travel and road trips, and being very intrigued by history, I was drawn to this book. Earl Swift does an excellent job telling the story about how our highway and interstate system came to being. From basically society making their own roads, to primitive dirt roads to different iterations and takes on the modern system, you really get a sense, appreciation and respect for our highway and interstate system. We pretty much take this road system for granted but this book really gave me a deep appreciation for it and the many people and years it took to develop. I recommend Earl Swift's, "The Big Roads" to anyone that drives on our freeway system.