Asphalt and Politics

A History of the American Highway System


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About the Book

From animal paths to superhighways, transportation has been the backbone of American expansion and growth. This examination of the interstate highway system in the United States, and the forces that shaped it, includes the introduction of the automobile, the Good Roads Movement, and the Lincoln Highway Association. The book offers an analysis of state and federal road funding, modern road-building options, and the successes and failures of the current highway system.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

The late Thomas L. Karnes taught at Tulane and Arizona State universities. He was the author of several books about United States and world history and lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas L. Karnes
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4282-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5467-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

ONE—Good Roads      5

TWO—Where There Is No Road      16

THREE—The Lincoln Highway Association      29

FOUR—The Military Complex      42

FIVE—The Consequences      70

SIX—The Congress      82

SEVEN—Pie in the Sky      100

EIGHT—Tales from a Few Cities      114

NINE—The Brass      121

TEN—Dollars      132

ELEVEN—Innovative Highway Financing      142

TWELVE—Congestion Pricing      153

THIRTEEN—The Private Sector      163

FOURTEEN—L’Envoi      174

Epilogue      190

Glossary      193

Notes      195

Bibliography      205

Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

“This is a fun, early history of the American highway system…provides a new understanding of the growth of the highway system…excellent…comprehensive”—Choice; “clear…reader-friendly”—