Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike / Edition 1

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New Brunswick, NJ 1992 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 240 p.

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as this excerpt from the preface suggests, looking for America is a book about American values as much it is a book about a road that crosses the state of New Jersey.

"A lively, informative, thoroughly entertaining examination of this most American of highways."--New York Times Book Review

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

A vivid, authentic and often humorous picture of life within this otherworldly corridor . . . an original and substantial work.
Christian Science Monitor

A fascinating account of the best known landmark in the Garden State--the New Jersey Turnpike. . . . If there is anyone out there who believes that a book on a turnpike will be dull and uninspiring, guess again.
The Courier-Post

An off-beat look at all facets of Turnpike life: the building of New Jersey's most famous road; its toll collectors; rest areas; the people with the turnpike as a neighbor; and more.
Boston Globe

Filled with interesting historical information about the roadway, explaining in comic detail the paramilitary mentality of the Turnpike Authority.
New Jersey Monthly

An enthusiastic exploration of the eminently user-unfriendly Turnpike's impact on suburban life, graffiti, mass transit, music, art, poetry, folklore, truck-stop sex--all human life as we know it.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two American Studies professors from Rutgers University here show how the New Jersey Turnpike--that ``ugly icon,'' America's ``widest and most traveled'' road--has found its way into the minds, if not the hearts, of artists and drivers alike. In poet Allen Ginsberg, singer Bruce Springsteen, commuters and roadside home owners lulled to sleep by its drone of traffic, this 12-lane asphalt monster has inspired powerful reactions, from admiration to anger. The authors consider the first asparagus patch plowed up to lay the road; the $70,000 salary a contemporary toll-taker can earn with hefty overtime; and the not infrequent lawlessness of the highway patrol. From the gray-flannel-suit diligence that built it, to the mixture of necessity, practicality and venality that maintains it, the New Jersey Turnpike proves to be an enthralling though unlikely subject. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Gillespie and Rockland, both Rutgers University professors, have written a sensitive, highly accessible treatise on America's most important artery, the New Jersey Turnpike. Long the subject of scorn and humor, often (mistakenly) viewed by out-of-state travelers as the embodiment of New Jersey environment, the turnpike may well be America's most apt symbol, say the authors--that of industry and efficiency and functionalism gone awry. The authors trace the evolution of public opinion toward the road since the 1950s, as well as the curious inspirational effect it has had on artists from Allen Ginsberg to Bruce Springsteen, who romanticize its blasted moonscape and minimalist design. Funny, engagingly anecdotal, yet well researched and organized.-- Mark Annichiarico, ``Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813519555
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Angus Kress Gillespie and Michael Aaron Rockland teach in the American Studies Department at Rutgers University.
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