Read The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways by Earl Swift Free Online
Book Title: The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways|
The author of the book: Earl Swift
Edition: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date of issue: June 9th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780618812417
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 973 KB
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A man-made wonder, a connective network, an economic force, a bringer of blight and sprawl and the possibility of escape—the U.S. interstate system changed the face of our country. The Big Roads charts the creation of these essential American highways. From the turn-of-the-century car racing entrepreneur who spurred the citizen-led “Good Roads” movement, to the handful of driven engineers who conceived of the interstates and how they would work—years before President Eisenhower knew the plans existed—to the protests that erupted across the nation when highways reached the cities and found people unwilling to be uprooted in the name of progress, Swift follows a winding, fascinating route through twentieth-century American life.
How did we get from dirt tracks to expressways, from main streets to off-ramps, from mud to concrete and steel, in less than a century? Through decades of politics, activism, and marvels of engineering, we recognize in our highways the wanderlust, grand scale, and conflicting notions of citizenship and progress that define America.
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Read information about the authorEarl Swift began writing for a living in his teens. In the years since, the Virginia-based journalist has been a Fulbright fellow, PEN finalist and six-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, and has earned a reputation for powerful narrative and scrupulous reporting.
Swift wrote for newspapers in St. Louis, Anchorage and, for twenty-two years, in Norfolk, where his long-form features won numerous state and national awards. His stories have also appeared in Outside, PARADE, Popular Mechanics, The Atlantic Cities, America's Best Newspaper Writing, Our State, and River Teeth.
He is the author of AUTO BIOGRAPHY: A Classic Car, An Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream (HarperCollins, 2014), a narrative journey through postwar America told through a single old car and the fourteen people who've owned it; THE BIG ROADS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), an armchair history of the interstate highway system and its effects, physical and cultural, on the nation it binds; JOURNEY ON THE JAMES (University of Virginia Press, 2001), the story of a great American river and the largely untold history that has unfolded in and around it; WHERE THEY LAY: Searching for America's Lost Soldiers (Houghton Mifflin, 2003), for which he accompanied an Army archaeological team into the jungles of Laos in search of a helicopter crew shot down thirty years before; and a 2007 collection of his stories, THE TANGIERMAN'S LAMENT (UVa Press).
He also co-authored, with Macon Brock, ONE BUCK AT A TIME (Beachnut/John F. Blair, 2017), an insider's account of Dollar Tree's rise from loopy idea to retail juggernaut. The book was chosen for J.P. Morgan's summer reading list in 2017.
An avid outdoorsman, Swift has through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, circumnavigated the Chesapeake Bay by sea kayak, and canoed the 435-mile James River from source to sea.
Since 2012 he's been a residential fellow of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia. He lives with his 24-year-old daughter, Saylor, in Crozet, Virginia, and is engaged to the fetching Amy Walton of Virginia Beach.