From Publishers Weekly
The genesis and subsequent history of the controversial I-69 highway, still underway after 20 years and still being debated, makes for colorful, quirky reading. Already running through Michigan and parts of Indiana, I-69 may continue on through Indianapolis, Memphis, Shreveport, and a few Texas bergs. If completed, it will stretch from Canada to Mexico. Detractors of the undertaking, projected to cost over $30 billion, describe it as a "NAFTA highway," an attempt to diminish U.S. economic primacy in favor of overall North American commerce. "Promoters speak as if their highway would be the mythical rainbow. Spanning the countryside, it would spin off glittering paths to fill pots of gold in every town and hamlet." Dellinger examines the many non-governmental options currently on the table, some involving the controversial practice of allowing foreign companies to lease roads long-term and charge escalating tolls. On the other side of the blacktop, anarchists have riled older, more conservative opponents of the interstate with disruptive and damaging acts. This well-researched book brings an engaging group of idealists, politicians, and observers to the middle of one of America's most famous stretches of road.
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“From the first page Matt Dellinger draws a compellingly written narrative that is not only hard to put down but is sweeping in its context. America's history, and its future, breathes in these pages.”
—Ken Auletta, author Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
“Interstate 69 is not just about highways. It's about Americans deciding on their future. The politics and arguments about this one proposed highway may or may not lead us somewhere—but like any great journey, it's the trip that's the thing.”
—Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
“Whether I-69 is ever built or not, it has provided Matt Dellinger a good route into the middle of our country, a fascinating and often-neglected place. His story of an imagined road, its boosters and its discontents speaks eloquently of the deep changes shaking up America today. This is an affectionate, hard-won, and skillfully-made book, filled with the pleasures of original discovery.”
—Ian Frazier, author of Great Plains and The Rez
“A rollicking dispatch from the heartland as great plans are laid for a mega-highway just at the moment when America runs out of gas. Matt Dellinger is a first-rate reporter and an agile portraitist who gives us a rare look at the loony shenanigans that shape our landscape and our society.”
—James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency
“A great journey, with sharp reporting and fine writing and a genuine feel for an America we don't often notice. With Dellinger at the wheel, the saga of the unfinished interstate becomes a wonderful tale.”
Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
“Interstate 69 is about a road that doesn't exist, and probably never will, and we learn anew about small town America whose fortunes ebbed and flowed with the advent of the superhighway. Dellinger has given us a new way to understand—and enjoy—our history.”
—Seymour Hersh, author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib