Traveling Route 66 Nick Freeth america's main street the mother road old cars motels neon signs nostalgia history book

Traveling Route 66

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By Nick Freeth

1926. Gas is 17¢ a gallon. Haircuts are 25 cents. And U.S. Route 66-- two thousand miles of road and concrete-- connects Chicago with Los Angeles, making long-distance travel a reality for millions of Americans.

Often called America’s Main Street, this famous highway played a key role in the development of U.S. industry and commerce. It offered the prospect of a better life in the West for families trapped in rural poverty along its path.

And, by the early 1940s, it was a lifeline in the U.S. war effort. Route 66 quickly became part of the American Dream, generating its own myths and romance and inspiring scores of novelists, poets, artists, moviemakers, and songwriters to weave its image into their work.

This compact book follows the path of the Mother Road, reveals its importance, and captures its special magic. More than 240 full-color illustrations reveal the unique culture along the road, from neon signs and historic landmarks to favorite cars and recipes popular along the highway.

"Don’t be fooled by this small package--within its pages is a colorful, illustrated history of the fabled road and its landmarks."--Paul Taylor, from the Introduction