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, 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.
Mike Witzel is the award-winning author of more than two dozen books, including the MBI bestsellers Route 66 Remembered, The American Gas Station, The American Diner, and, most recently, Legendary Route 66. He has appeared on Discovery Channel’s World’s Top Ten Fast Food Restaurants and Tailfins and Drive-ins; Food Network’s Unwrapped: Drive-In Restaurants; and History Channel’s American Eats: History on a Bun.
Part I Happy Trails
Chapter One Death Knell of the Horse
Profile: Francois Xavier Aubry
Chapter Two Auto Hailed as Road Builder
Profile: Horatio Earle
Chapter Three Highway to the West
Profile: Cyrus Stevens Avery
Part II Road to Somewhere
Chapter Four Paving the Future
Profile: Earl Shelton
Chapter Five Connecting the Dots
Profile: Seema Aissen Weatherwax
Chapter Six The Road of Flight
Profile: Shirley Mills Hanson
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.”