Going Places: Transportation Redefines the Twentieth-century West

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Indiana University Press, 2003 - History - 419 pages
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It seems difficult even to imagine the modern West without reference to its planes, trains, and automobiles. Freeways define modern Los Angeles, as Route 66 still recalls the freedom of the open road. Seattle, long home to Boeing, gave birth to jetliners such as the 707. And once trains with glamorous names like The Sunset Limited and The Great Northern Flyer carried passengers in posh luxury through the grand vistas of the West. "Railways, highways, and skyways link landscapes both ordinary and sublime for tourists in search of scenic splendor," observes Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes. But those same corridors often leaven despair with opportunity for those who dream that the mobility brought by car, train, and plane will help them find better jobs or escape from their pasts.

Going Places looks at three major ways in which transportation has shaped the great Western landscape. There are the transformations brought about by a railroad right-of-way, highway corridors, waterways, and airports, and the larger impacts of transportation on the landscape, such as the development that followed the iron rails westward. Finally, Schwantes considers how travelers experience the passing landscape as framed by the windows of automobiles, passenger trains, and jetliners, and what that might mean. He examines the interconnections between railroad, highway, aviation, and waterways, and between society and modes of transportation. This masterful narrative travels the length and breadth of a vast space, with marvelous anecdotes and telling details that bring the story to life. More than 100 carefully selected photographs complement the text.

  

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Going places: transportation redefines the twentieth-century West

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In this lively and interpretive essay on transportation and its impact on the modern American West, Schwantes (transportation studies and the West, Univ. of Missouri, Saint Louis) explores the ... Read full review

Contents

The View from 29000 Feet and Below
1
Transportation Corridors Transform the West
30
When Railroads Ruled
58
Copper Connections and the Last Transcontinental Railroad
88
Roads Stretching from Farm to Market but Seldom Beyond
114
The Emergence of New Corridors of Power
137
The TwentiethCentury Transportation Revolution
161
The New Overland Route
189
Auto Euphoria and Other Postwar Enthusiasms
270
The Skys the Limit
295
Reinventing the Railroads
324
The Space of Place
354
Notes
375
Sources of Images
389
Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading
397
Index
411

Hard Choices for Hard Times
218
Is This Trip Necessary? The Impact of World War II
243

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 416 - Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States, Porto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Cuba.

References to this book

About the author (2003)

Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes is the St. Louis Mercantile Library Endowed Professor of Transportation Studies and the West at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.