The Big Roads by Earl Swift audiobook

The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways

By Earl Swift
Read by Rob Shapiro

Tantor Audio 9780547907246
12.51 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $20.99
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781452675350

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More

A man-made wonder, a connective network, an economic force, a bringer of blight and sprawl and the possibility of escape—the U.S. interstate system transformed America. The Big Roads presents the surprising history of how we got from dirt tracks to expressways in the space of a single lifetime. Earl Swift brings to light the visionaries who created these essential highways as well as the critics and citizens who questioned their headlong expansion throughout the country, including: Carl Fisher, the irrepressible car-racing entrepreneur who spurred the push for good roads in the early years of the automobile, built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and made a fortune creating Miami Beach, only to lose it all; Thomas MacDonald, chief among a handful of driven engineers who conceived of the interstates and how they would work, years before President Eisenhower knew the plans existed; Lewis Mumford, the critic whose crusade against America's budding love affair with the automobile—and the ever bigger roads it required—now seems prescient; Joe Wiles, an African American family man turned activist, one of thousands of ordinary citizens in dozens of cities who found their homes and communities targeted by the concrete juggernaut—and were unwilling to be uprooted in the name of progress. In mapping a fascinating route through the dreams, discoveries, and protests that shaped these mighty roads, Swift shows that the interstates embody the wanderlust, grand scale, and conflicting notions of citizenship that define America.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

A man-made wonder, a connective network, an economic force, a bringer of blight and sprawl and the possibility of escape—the U.S. interstate system transformed America. The Big Roads presents the surprising history of how we got from dirt tracks to expressways in the space of a single lifetime.

Earl Swift brings to light the visionaries who created these essential highways as well as the critics and citizens who questioned their headlong expansion throughout the country, including:
  • Carl Fisher, the irrepressible car-racing entrepreneur who spurred the push for good roads in the early years of the automobile, built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and made a fortune creating Miami Beach, only to lose it all;
  • Thomas MacDonald, chief among a handful of driven engineers who conceived of the interstates and how they would work, years before President Eisenhower knew the plans existed;
  • Lewis Mumford, the critic whose crusade against America's budding love affair with the automobile—and the ever bigger roads it required—now seems prescient;
  • Joe Wiles, an African American family man turned activist, one of thousands of ordinary citizens in dozens of cities who found their homes and communities targeted by the concrete juggernaut—and were unwilling to be uprooted in the name of progress.
In mapping a fascinating route through the dreams, discoveries, and protests that shaped these mighty roads, Swift shows that the interstates embody the wanderlust, grand scale, and conflicting notions of citizenship that define America.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

[Swift's] writing is easygoing, and [listeners] interested in urban planning as well as engineering will find a well-told story about a defining American feature. Publishers Weekly
“Narrator Rob Shapiro brings a sort of surprised enthusiasm to his reading, utilizing a kind of gee-whiz tone that carries listeners along almost as nicely as today’s roadways.” AudioFile
“It’s nice to look back to an era when visionary investment was still possible.” Library Journal
“The book is a road geek’s treasure—and everyone who travels the highways ought to know these stories.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Earl Swift

Author Bio: Earl Swift

Journalist Earl Swift has written five books, including The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways (2011). Since 2012 he has been a residential fellow of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 12.51
Audience: Adult
Language: English