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Legendary Route 66: A Journey Through Time Along America's Mother Road [Paperback]

Jim Ross , Michael Karl Witzel , Gyvel Young-Witzel
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 11.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Sep 2014
Take a walk down memory lane . . . all 2,400-plus miles of it.
 
With the dawn of the automobile age, droves of Americans could no longer resist the urge to head west. In 1926, one road began taking them there: Route 66. Starting in Chicago and running to Santa Monica, that road is profiled in this new flexibound edition of Legendary Route 66, which highlights the sights along America’s Main Street with more than 600 photographs of classic gas stations and motels, road signs, postcards, maps, and memorabilia. This unparalleled look at the Mother Road lets you get your kicks on Route 66 through each decade of its existence—from the point auto adventurers first started using this transcontinental route to the days when Okies made it the Dust Bowl road of flight to the 1950s-era tide of vacationers headed west seeking sun. You’ll see Route 66 as it was in its heyday and as it is now, the neon glamour of yesterday versus the ghost towns of today. Route 66 historians Michael Karl Witzel and Gyvel Young-Witzel lead the journey, recounting the highway’s history, its role in popular culture, and its demise. Along the way, they chronicle the rise, fall, and resurgence of many iconic Route 66 roadside stops, as well as profile many people with close ties to the Mother Road. With many never-seen-before photos, Legendary Route 66 is a timeless tribute to the most beloved road in America.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press (4 Sep 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760346054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760346051
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 21.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Cars & Parts, November 2007

“Great, another Route 66 book was the first thought to pop in to mind upon receipt of a review copy of this book. The second was that I write reviews on automotive books, not books on travel or social commentary. This, however, is not just another Route 66 book. It is one of a handful written that adds meat to the sinew and bone as well as reality to the fantasy.


“With the turning of each page, the evolution of the American highway and our fascination with the open road unfolds. From the camel caravan of Lt. Beale and the Santa Fe Trail to the bicycle craze of the late 19th century and the trials and tribulations of the early motorists is chronicled through informative text and extensive use of photographs, many never before published.


“As to Route 66, sure there are the obligatory post cards and photos of famous attractions. There are also vintage accident photos and statistics gleaned from government reports about accidents that speak volumes about travel on Route 66 during its glory days. This could be the definitive book on Route 66 and our fascination with it.”



Route 66 News, Nov. 13, 2007

“You’ll quickly leaf through the handsome book, admiring the many colorful and often-nostalgic images. Even if you’re a hardcore roadie, you’ll likely see images you’ve never seen before.”



Family Motor Coaching, November 2007

“Wonderfully illustrated tribute to the best-loved highway in the United States.”

Thomasville Times Enterprise, Dec. 19, 2007

“Is there an old-car enthusiast on your Christmas list, or maybe someone who loves to travel? Then they’ll love Legendary Route 66. This huge, heavy book is filled with pictures, maps, trivia, and remembrances of a stretch of pavement that inspired song, TV show and countless road trips. Hint: this book makes a great vacation companion.”

From the Inside Flap

With the dawn of the automobile age, droves of Americans could no longer resist the urge to head west. In 1926, one road started taking them there: Route 66.

 

Starting in Chicago and running to Santa Monica, Legendary Route 66 highlights the sights along America’s Main Street with more than 600 photographs of classic gas stations and motels, road signs, postcards, maps, and memorabilia. This unparalleled look at the Mother Road lets you get your kicks on Route 66 through each decade of its existence—from when auto adventurers first started using this transcontinental route to when Okies made this the Dust Bowl road of flight and 1950s-era vacationers headed west seeking sun. You’ll see Route 66 as it was in its heyday and as it is now, the neon glamour of yesterday versus the ghost towns of today.

 

Route 66 historians Michael Witzel and Gyvel Witzel-Young lead the journey, recounting the highway’s history, its role in popular culture, and its demise. Along the way, they chronicle the rise, fall, and resurgence of many iconic Route 66 roadside stops, as well as profile many people with close ties to the Mother Road. With many never-seen-before photos, this book is a great tribute to the legendary Route 66.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By rubsley
Format:Hardcover
Ah, Route 66: road of legend, of song and film, America's Main Street, the Mother Road; images of dust-bowl jalopies and hitch-hiking migrants and the road-trippin' desert of the American west, all crazy neon and fifties motels, Studebakers and Buicks and chrome. And 250 pages, and 600 photographs, all dedicated to its memory - for it barely exists anymore - to fill the heart with rattlesnake dreams and four-wheeled wanderlust, and set more souls in search of that 2400-mile ribbon of magic, right?

Sadly - and surprisingly - no.

Instead, what we get is a strange mix of coffee table glamour, children's-style history and amateurish if enthusiastic tour guide altogether lacking the direction and impetus of the road it describes. Ninety pages are devoted to the pre-history of Route 66 - chapters on the horse and the bicycle - while the glaring omissions - where are the beatniks and hippies, the rock and roll years? - and bland and sometimes incomprehensible interviews betray the writers' true talent: that of exhaustive, and occasionally exhausting historians. In the end, one is left wondering whether the authors of this weighty tome have even driven the road they talk so much about.

PS There's a marvelous, Spinal Tap-esque mistake on page 162: "The monument towers at over four feet above the valley floor." Brilliant! There are other mistakes too, but this is the best.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Usual Travel Book 4 Jun 2011
By Craig Case - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you're looking for a basic tour guide of The Mother Road which goes state by state from Illinois to California put this down and get something else. This fabulous 251 page book is packed with photos, memorabilia, and trivia regarding Route 66. But it's much more than that. It examines the terrain decades before the road was built. It then goes decade by decade showing the earliest days of the road to the dust bowl days to the 50s and the interstate system through the beginning of the next century and the renewed interest in the highway to end all highways. But there's even more than this. There are two and three-page profiles throughout the book such as:

Horatio Earle: Michigan State Senator at the turn of the century who began the process to create a state highway commission in Michigan.
A. L Westgard: Made the first transcontinental trip in a gasoline engine truck.
Earl Shelton: Child of the Dust Bowl
Mildred Pattschull and an All-Girls Cross-Country Trip
The Grapes of Wrath: Profile of Shirley Mills Hanson who played Ruthie Joad in the film.
The Haggard Family: The story of Merle's parents' migration to Bakersfield CA.
Frank Yellowhorse and the Yellowhorse Trading Post
John Lewis and the Wigwam Motel
The story of the Blue Whale
Anbgel Delgadillo and the Resurrection of Route 66

You are not going to want to rush through this book. People who experience the Mother Road should do so at their leisure. This book is an adventure. What are you waiting for? Get started!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Review of a Forgotten Road 30 Jun 2014
By Gary W. Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wonderful book to take you back to a simpler time. Great pictures that show the rise and decline of what was one of the most important roads in America. Classic Americana at its best.
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary Route 66 22 Oct 2013
By Paul L. Oyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a good book on Route 66. I used it when I rode 66 on my Honda Trike.
I suggest anyone that wants to ride down 66 buy this book
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting 16 Oct 2013
By B. Brice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a very nice book, very well illustrated. It is not a must have for planning the trip (though interesting) but definitely a must have for your memories ! Recommended !
5.0 out of 5 stars great! 29 Mar 2013
By jf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this was a present and he loves it. it has a lot of information and has great pictures and maps.
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