The Big Roads

The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways

Author: Earl Swift

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 054754913X

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 6881

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Discover the twists and turns of one of America’s great infrastructure projects with this “engrossing history of the creation of the U.S. interstate system” (Los Angeles Times). It’s become a part of the landscape that we take for granted, the site of rumbling eighteen-wheelers and roadside rest stops, a familiar route for commuters and vacationing families. But during the twentieth century, the interstate highway system dramatically changed the face of our nation. These interconnected roads—over 47,000 miles of them—are man-made wonders, economic pipelines, agents of sprawl, uniquely American symbols of escape and freedom, and an unrivaled public works accomplishment. Though officially named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, this network of roadways has origins that reach all the way back to the World War I era, and The Big Roads—“the first thorough history of the expressway system” (The Washington Post)—tells the full story of how they came to be. From the speed demon who inspired a primitive web of dirt auto trails to the largely forgotten technocrats who planned the system years before Ike reached the White House to the city dwellers who resisted the concrete juggernaut when it bore down on their neighborhoods, this book reveals both the massive scale of this government engineering project, and the individual lives that have been transformed by it. A fast-paced history filled with fascinating detours, “the book is a road geek’s treasure—and everyone who travels the highways ought to know these stories” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Road Taken

The History and Future of America's Infrastructure

Author: Henry Petroski

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1632863618

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 6765

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A renowned historian and engineer explores the past, present, and future of America's crumbling infrastructure. Acclaimed engineer and historian Henry Petroski explores our core infrastructure from both historical and contemporary perspectives, explaining how essential their maintenance is to America's economic health. Petroski reveals the genesis of the many parts of America's highway system--our interstate numbering system, the centerline that divides roads, and such taken-for-granted objects as guardrails, stop signs, and traffic lights--all crucial to our national and local infrastructure. A compelling work of history, The Road Taken is also an urgent clarion call aimed at American citizens, politicians, and anyone with a vested interest in our economic well-being. Physical infrastructure in the United States is crumbling, and Petroski reveals the complex and challenging interplay between government and industry inherent in major infrastructure improvement. The road we take in the next decade toward rebuilding our aging infrastructure will in large part determine our future national prosperity.

Americans Against the City

Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century

Author: Steven Conn

Publisher: Oxford University Press (UK)

ISBN: 0199973660

Category: History

Page: 379

View: 5745

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"It is a paradox of American life that we are a highly urbanized nation filled with people deeply ambivalent about urban life. In this provocative and sweeping book, historian Steven Conn explores the "anti-urban impulse" across the 20th century and examines how those ideas have shaped the places Americans have lived and worked, and how they have shaped the anti-government politics so strong today. As Conn describes it, the anti-urban impulse has had two parts: first, an aversion to urban density and all that it contributes to urban life, especially social diversity, and second, a perception that the city was the place where "big government" first took root in America. In response, in varying ways across the 20th century, anti-urbanists called for the decentralization of the city, both its population and its economy, and they rejected the role of government in American life in favor of a return to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. In this way, by the middle of the 20th century anti-urbanism was at the center of the politics of the New Right. Conn starts in the booming industrial cities of the Progressive era at the turn of the 20th century, where these questions first began to be debated, and ends with some of the New Urbanist experiments of the turn of the 21st. Along the way he examines the decentralist movement of the 1930s, the attempt to revive the American small town in the mid-century, the anti-urban basis of urban renewal in the 1950s and '60s, and the Nixon Administration's program of building new towns as a response to the urban crisis. Engagingly written, thoroughly researched and forcefully argued, Americans Against the City is important reading for anyone who cares not just about the history of our cities, but also about their future"--

Drive-Thru Dreams

A Journey Through the Heart of America's Fast-Food Kingdom

Author: Adam Chandler

Publisher: Flatiron Books

ISBN: 1250090733

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 5961

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Most any honest person can own up to harboring at least one fast-food guilty pleasure. In Drive-Thru Dreams, Adam Chandler explores the inseparable link between fast food and American life for the past century. The dark underbelly of the industry’s largest players has long been scrutinized and gutted, characterized as impersonal, greedy, corporate, and worse. But, in unexpected ways, fast food is also deeply personal and emblematic of a larger than life image of America. With wit and nuance, Chandler reveals the complexities of this industry through heartfelt anecdotes and fascinating trivia as well as interviews with fans, executives, and workers. He traces the industry from its roots in Wichita, where White Castle became the first fast food chain in 1921 and successfully branded the hamburger as the official all-American meal, to a teenager's 2017 plea for a year’s supply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets, which united the internet to generate the most viral tweet of all time. Drive-Thru Dreams by Adam Chandler tells an intimate and contemporary story of America—its humble beginning, its innovations and failures, its international charisma, and its regional identities—through its beloved roadside fare.

Landmark Legislation 1774-2012

Major U.S. Acts and Treaties

Author: Stephen W. Stathis

Publisher: CQ Press

ISBN: 1483386252

Category: Political Science

Page: 568

View: 5080

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The Second Edition of this renowned treasure trove of information about the most important laws and treaties enacted by the U.S. Congress now deepens its historical coverage and examines an entire decade of new legislation. Landmark Legislation 1774-2012 includes additional acts and treaties chosen for their historical significance or their precedential importance for later areas of major federal legislative activity in the over 200 years since the convocation of the Continental Congress. Brand new chapters expand coverage to include the last five numbered Congresses (10 years of activity from 2003-2012), which has seen landmark legislation in the areas of health insurance and health care reform; financial regulatory reform; fiscal stimulus and the Temporary Asset Relief Program; federal support for stem cell research; reform of federal financial support for public schools and higher education; and much more. Features & Benefits: Each chapter covers one of the numbered Congresses with a historical essay, followed by the major acts of that Congress arranged in chronological order of passage – with each act summarized. A Finder’s Guide summarizes all of the acts and treaties into approximately 40 separate topical policy areas. The work’s extensive bibliography has been expanded and updated. This one-volume resource is a must-have for any public or academic library, especially those with strong American history or political science collections.

Chesapeake Requiem

A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island

Author: Earl Swift

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062661418

Category: Nature

Page: 448

View: 6083

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A brilliant, soulful, and timely portrait of a two-hundred-year-old crabbing community in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay as it faces extinction "Beautiful, haunting and true." — Hampton Sides • "Powerful. A tale of our time, movingly told." — Bill McKibben • Wonderful, poetic, stirring. An elegy to a disappearing way of life." — Callum Roberts • "An important book." — Library Journal Tangier Island, Virginia, is a community unique on the American landscape. Mapped by John Smith in 1608, settled during the American Revolution, the tiny sliver of mud is home to 470 hardy people who live an isolated and challenging existence, with one foot in the 21st century and another in times long passed. They are separated from their countrymen by the nation’s largest estuary, and a twelve-mile boat trip across often tempestuous water—the same water that for generations has made Tangier’s fleet of small fishing boats a chief source for the rightly prized Chesapeake Bay blue crab, and has lent the island its claim to fame as the softshell crab capital of the world. Yet for all of its long history, and despite its tenacity, Tangier is disappearing. The very water that has long sustained it is erasing the island day by day, wave by wave. It has lost two-thirds of its land since 1850, and still its shoreline retreats by fifteen feet a year—meaning this storied place will likely succumb first among U.S. towns to the effects of climate change. Experts reckon that, barring heroic intervention by the federal government, islanders could be forced to abandon their home within twenty-five years. Meanwhile, the graves of their forebears are being sprung open by encroaching tides, and the conservative and deeply religious Tangiermen ponder the end times. Chesapeake Requiem is an intimate look at the island’s past, present and tenuous future, by an acclaimed journalist who spent much of the past two years living among Tangier’s people, crabbing and oystering with its watermen, and observing its long traditions and odd ways. What emerges is the poignant tale of a world that has, quite nearly, gone by—and a leading-edge report on the coming fate of countless coastal communities.

Auto Biography

A Classic Car, an Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream

Author: Earl Swift

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062282670

Category: Transportation

Page: 368

View: 9125

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A brilliant blend of Shop Class as Soulcraft and The Orchid Thief, Earl Swift's wise, funny, and captivating Auto Biography follows an outlaw auto dealer as he struggles to save a rusted '57 Chevy—a car that has already passed through twelve pairs of hands before his—while financial ruin, government bureaucrats and the FBI close in on him. Slumped among hundreds of other decrepit hulks on a treeless, windswept moor in eastern North Carolina, the Chevy evokes none of the Jet Age mystique that made it the most beloved car to ever roll off an assembly line. It's open to the rain. Birds nest in its seats. Officials of the surrounding county consider it junk. To Tommy Arney, it's anything but: It's a fossil of the twentieth-century American experience, of a place and a people utterly devoted to the automobile and changed by it in myriad ways. It's a piece of history—especially so because its flaking skin conceals a rare asset: a complete provenance, stretching back more than fifty years. So, hassled by a growing assortment of challengers, the Chevy's thirteenth owner—an orphan, grade-school dropout and rounder, a felon arrested seventy-odd times, and a man who's been written off as a ruin himself--embarks on a mission to save the car and preserve long record of human experience it carries in its steel and upholstery. Written for both gearheads and Sunday drivers, Auto Biography charts the shifting nature of the American Dream and our strange and abiding relationship with the automobile, through an iconic classic and an improbable, unforgettable hero.

Montana

The Magazine of Western History

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Frontier and pioneer life

Page: N.A

View: 1475

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