From Publishers Weekly
Route 66 was, from the 1920s to the 1970s, the principal highway from Chicago to Los Angeles, until it was displaced by interstate highways. As this splendid contribution to American popular history shows, it played a significant role in our national development. Witzel (The American Gas Station) profiles many kinds of travelers, from carefree vacationers to weary Okies headed for what they hoped was a better life. He covers four principal subjects: attractions along the road (from phony totem poles to snake pits), filling stations, roadside eateries and motor hotels. While his text is very good, it is carried by 200 photos, more than half in color, which pay tribute to the twin gods Schlock and Kitsch. Readers will also pick up much Americana along the way, including the origins of corn dogs, carhops, chicken in the rough and house trailers. A minor defect is the absence of a capsule history of the highway, telling exactly when it began and ended, and, above all, a map. Even so, Witzel has produced a gem of nostalgia.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Author
This title was inspired by the early road trips I took with my parents and later, the tours of discovery I made on Highway 66. From early childhood to present day, I've been fascinated with roadside America and the many amazing sights that may be found there. And that's where 66 comes in: Along the "Mother Road," today's adventurers may still travel back into the past! Motorists that take the time to look will find tourist courts with dramatic neon, filling stations where attendants wipe the windows, drive-in diners that serve food by carhop, and tourist attractions that set the imagination free! Packed with full-color images taken by myself and other talented photographers of the roadside genre, this title is a veritable scrapbook of the old road. It's a must-read for anyone with a hankering to hit the open road and a desire to get their "kicks on Route 66!"