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A Guide to the National Road (The Road and American Culture) Hardcover – July 24, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: The Road and American Culture
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (July 24, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801851564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801851568
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

""The perfect holiday gift volumes for friends and family members who are automotive travel nuts... These two volumes tell the U.S. Route 40 story as it has never been told before and will probably never be told again." -- John Goodspeed, Easton Star Democrat



"The story is admirably told... Scholarly in concept, but lively in style, the book retains a human dimension, encompassing everything from the development of roadside refreshment stands to the placing of a stone marker at the spot where President Martin Van Buren was accidentally dumped from his stagecoach." -- Parade Magazine

About the Author

Karl Raitz is professor of geography at the University of Kentucky. He has edited or coauthored many books, including Theater of Sport, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Anderson on July 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Everyone's probably heard of Route 66 and possibly also Route 1 or the Lincoln Highway. It seems only locals, though, are all that familiar with the National Road. That's unfortunate, as there's a lot more history to Route 40 than to any of the others.

This book does a good job taking you over every mile of Route 40. It's really encyclopedic, and contains some good maps and good photos as well.

What's a bit odd about this book, though, is its often dry, academic tone. It is from a university press (Johns Hopkins) and the author is a geography professor. Here's probably the worst I could find (it's definitely not all like this):

"The National Road's corridor - defined here as the roadbed proper and the lands on either side that extend to the visual horizon - has the dialectical quality of being a linear zone along which local residents can watch people and their vehicles pass, on the one hand, and a cross-sectional vantage point from which a traveler can observe place and regional context on the other."

This slant also means that if you're looking for local color (what the typical "road book" tends to have tons of), this might not be the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Dzik on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superb journey down one of America's iconic roads. Writing is crisp and the maps and photos are well-chosen. As a professional geographer, I was pleased.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this book as a gift and it was well received. This gives a lot of the background on the National Road and the American Love Affair with the automobile.
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