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The Lincoln Highway: Coast to Coast from Times Square to the Golden Gate Paperback – December 5, 2011
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
One look at the retro artwork on the cover of this travel tome will tell you what's in store for you—a visit down memory lane the length of the U.S. Following the 3,000-mile Lincoln Highway—much of it has been replaced or renamed—from New York City's Times Square to San Francisco Bay, Wallis (Route 66: The Mother Road) expertly captures the oft-forgotten and offbeat sights and tales of an America bypassed by superhighways. Most every town, restaurant, mom-and-pop store the author encounters along The Main Street Across America has seen better days, but Wallis still takes the time to celebrate their classic architecture and down-home recipes. With an eye for details and a gift for storytelling, he moves just as smoothly between the role of tour guide and yarn spinner as he does between the road's history and its current incarnation. The juxtaposition between old and new is further underlined by the presentation of classic images and new photographs by Williamson. With a chapter dedicated to each of the 13 states that the highway passes through, this book will delight those looking to uncover their local roots as well as adventurers yearning for that American rite of passage—a cross-country road trip. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
With an eye for details and a gift for storytelling, [Wallis] moves just as smoothly between the role of tour guide and yarn spinner as he does between the road's history and its current incarnation. "
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So THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY is a natural for me. The congenial text is by Michael Wallis and the scores of color photographs were taken by Michael S. Williamson. The book is organized as a road trip from east to west, from New York City to San Francisco. There are thirteen chapters, one for each of the thirteen states through which the Lincoln Highway passes. The text is about equally divided between history and a current (as of 2007) travelogue.
The Lincoln Highway has been superseded by the interstates, principally by I-80. Driving the interstates, one gets there faster but one sees much less of America. THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY highlights many interesting places and people, among them:
* Lincoln Garage (its motto is "Don't cuss, call us") and owner Gene Bellardo, in Langhorne, Pa.
* The Haines Shoe House, in Hallam, Pa.
* Gene Amos, "the Chester Pie Man", in Chester, W.V.
* Balyeat's, a third-generation restaurant and coffee shop in Van Wert, Ohio
* Steve Smith and the Smith Brothers General Store in Clinton, Iowa
* Preston filling station, Belle Plaine, Iowa
* The desolate remains of Smitty's Truck Stop, in Pine Bluff, Wyo. (killed off by I-80)
* Orr's Ranch, Skull Valley, Utah
* Truckee Hotel, opened in 1873 in the Donner Pass, Cal., 26 years after the ill-fated Donner-Reed Party passed through (with some dying there).
The highest and best use of the book probably would be as a companion for one's own trip along the Lincoln Highway or a portion of it. One would also need a current detailed map (a weakness of the book is the absence of any maps other than the stylized one on the cover). But as a history and a travel guide, this book would be ideal. I hope to take it with me on such a trip someday.