Our friends John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle have a new book due out any day, Motoring: The Highway Experience in America. It focuses on recreational travel between 1900 and 1960 by examining various aspects of the built environment and how they’ve shape our view of the “open road.” The 288-page, 75-photo publication from University of Georgia Press follows in the steps of 5 similar collaborations from the authors.
Those other books from Jakle and Sculle have likewise covered topics such as motels, fast food, and gas stations but individually. This book looks at those topics plus roadside tourist attractions, freeways and toll roads, truck stops, bus travel, and convenience stores. Sculle told me, “There are 12 chapters in all, several on the highway system’s formation but also chapters on trucking, auto dealerships & garages….” They’ve been working on this book for 3 years, though of course that’s on top of decades of related research.
Another friend and road scholar, Arthur Krim (author of Route 66: Iconography of the American Highway), describes it as “a bit of business history, a pinch of psychology, a dose of technology, and a full account of the architectural forms that created the current freeway suburbia.”
As for the Lincoln Highway, Sculle says it’s in there:
Nothing new factually but it’s placed into the context of the developing highway system when it was built. Then, in concluding remarks, it is referenced regarding the way some people like to relive the past by driving on the old, surviving parts of the Lincoln Highway.
It’s a book about the Road as Americans consume it. It has links to many things written before but less on the people who started and ran the businesses than how Americans thought of their experience, hence, the subtitle: The Highway Experience in America. The chapter on the Tourist’s Roadside helps put things in perspective.
Motoring retails for $34.95 or get it from Amazon for $23.07 by clicking here.