- Paperback: 179 pages
- Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (April 16, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0826341942
- ISBN-13: 978-0826341945
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,561,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hip to the Trip: A Cultural History of Route 66
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The author appears to enjoy sneering at those of us who still hold a somewhat idyllic nostalgia for the 1950s and the old road. He apparently thinks that middle class, white, male-dominated America should be doing penance for all the racial and social injustice of the past that was perpetrated on the nation and the old road. In doing so, the narrative turns into just another example of Howard Zinn type deconstructionist history, taking a proctologist's view of America and beating us up over its flaws.
When I think of Route 66, my mind naturally gravitates to the tune of “(Get Your Kicks) on Route 66″ which was written by Bobby Troup and his wife Cynthia and recorded by Nat King Cole along with many other artists including Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones.
From the 1920’s to 70’s, migrants going to California gave Route 66 is popularity. It was originally a stagecoach route until the railroad saw it as an opportunity to offer a more luxurious trip and began a rail line traveling west where people could visit tourist towns and Spanish villages. Throughout the years there’s been games, television shows, songs, magazines, graphic signs, and postcards that have helped bring the route into American pop culture. There were books written, such as Jack D. Rittenhouse’s book “A Guidebook to Route 66″ that included maps and illustrations featuring regional themes such as tourist attractions, gas stations, and souvenir shops. John Steinbeck introduced it into “The Grapes of Wrath” and called it America’s Main Street.
It’s also been known as the Mother Road and the Will Rogers Highway and sadly Route 66 was formally decommissioned by the Federal Government in 1985. “Hip to the Trip” written by Peter B. Dedek is the comprehensive bible of the history of one of the most famous and popular roads in America. I would highly recommend listening to this audiobook especially if you want to take a nostalgic trip back in time to its early days.
Michael Rene Zuzel did a stellar job narrating this book. I’ve listened to his work before and he always delivers. He has perfect clarity in his voice which adds a bonus to listening rather than reading this book. He’s truly an asset for audiobook publishers as well as listeners. His pronunciation is spot on which is a big plus for me and he has a good vocal tone. He’s consistent and that’s what I like about his reading. Great work!
I was reading one of the comments here and noted the political edge to it. I guess we're all entitled, but, come on, this book isn't a political commentary. I've found many people holding such POV's tend to see things as black or white. When a book like this comes along, and it's not shouting praise to great captains of enterprise (and how they fleeced all of those Route 66 travelers, as if it was a sport or something) it takes hits as a subversive effort. The book doesn't veer left, it goes beyond typical Route 66 books, giving us some careful insight. I guess if that's subversion then I'm a communist. I'm not knocking the comment, but Route 66 has a great and varied history. That history includes more than 'commerce and charactors' or the effects of tourist's dollars on towns, many of which wouldn't have survived had it not been for the road. A well rounded Route 66 history is also the history of America, Americans, their movements, the spread of our culture and even wealth. But, your head is in the sand if all it is to you is Cozy Dogs, The Wagon Wheel Hotel or the Cheroke Trading Post(s).
That said I'd rate this book right up there with several Route 66 classics, such as Tom Teague's 'Searching For 66' (Samizdat-1991/1996) and Jill Schneider's 'Across New Mexico' (UNM Press-1991) as the most rounded, insightful looks at America's Main Street, Route 66.