A Route 66 Companion

A Route 66 Companion


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Even before there was a road, there was a route. Buffalo trails, Indian paths, the old Santa Fe trace-all led across the Great Plains and the western mountains to the golden oasis of California. America's insatiable westering urge culminated in Route 66, the highway that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles. Opened in 1926, Route 66 became the quintessential American road. It offered the chance for freedom and a better life, whether you were down-and-out Okies fleeing the Dust Bowl in the 1930s or cool guys cruising in a Corvette in the 1960s. Even though the interstates long ago turned Route 66 into a bylane, it still draws travelers from around the world who long to experience the freedom of the open road.
A Route 66 Companion gathers fiction, poetry, memoir, and oral history to present a literary historical portrait of America's most storied highway. From accounts of pioneering trips across the western plains to a sci-fi fantasy of traveling Route 66 in a rocket, here are stories that explore the mystique of the open road, told by master storytellers ranging from Washington Irving to Raymond Chandler, Joan Didion, Sylvia Plath, Leslie Marmon Silko, and John Steinbeck. Interspersed among them are reminiscences that, for the first time, honor the varied cultures-Native American, Mexican American, and African American, as well as Anglo-whose experiences run through the Route 66 story like the stripe down the highway. So put the top down, set the cruise control, and "make that California trip" with A Route 66 Companion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292726604
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 02/01/2012
Pages: 162
Sales rank: 881,012
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David King Dunaway has written about American culture for publications ranging from the New York Times to the Virginia Quarterly. He is the author of nine volumes of history and biography, including How Can I Keep from Singing?, a biography of American folk singer Pete Seeger, which won the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers’ Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about American music. Dunaway is currently a professor at the University of New Mexico, Distinguished Professor of Broadcasting at San Francisco State University, and a DJ for KUNM-FM radio in Albuquerque.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • I. Railroads and the Prehistory of Route 66
    • Dave Edmunds, Buffalo Hunting on Route 66
    • Washington Irving, A Tour on the Prairies
    • Count de Pourtalès, On the Western Tour with Washington Irving
    • Edward F. Beale, The Journals of the Superintendent of the Wagon World
    • Michael Amundson, Railroaders' Route 66
    • Hal G. Evarts, Jr., One Night in the Red Dog Saloon
    • Zane Grey, The U.P. Trail
    • Man Susanyatame, Recalling Route 66's Trail of Tears
  • A Bioregional Approach to Route 66: An Introduction
  • II. Prairie 66: Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas
    • Vachel Lindsay, The Santa Fe Trail
    • Carolyn Wheat, Too Many Midnights
    • Thomas Wolfe, The Lost Boy
    • Jay Smith, The Boy: Okie Passage on Route 66
    • David August, Blind Corner
    • James H. Cobb, West on 66
  • III. Plains 66: Oklahoma and Texas
    • Greg Malak, Working with Will
    • Will Rogers, The Autobiography of Will Rogers
    • Lance Henson, Back Road 66
    • Karen Hesse, Wild Boy of the Road
    • Victor H. Green, The Negro Motorist Green Book
    • Gary Phillips, '53 Buick
    • Edmond Threatt, Black on 66
    • Michael Wallis, Mr. Route 66
    • Robert M. Davis, Kicking 66
    • Delbert Trew, On Route 66 in Texas
    • Stanley Marsh III, Cadillac Ranch
  • IV. Mountain 66: New Mexico and Arizona
    • Raymond Wierth and Joe Miller, Mining Along 66
    • Harvey Fergusson, Hot Saturday
    • Paul Horgan, The Thin Mountain Air
    • Mary Toya, Laguna Exile
    • John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
    • Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
    • Lucille Fletcher, The Hitch-Hiker
    • Henry Miller, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
    • Rudolfo Anaya, Hispanic on Route 66
  • V. Desert and Coastal 66: California
    • Ed Gorman, Gunslinger
    • Raymond Chandler, The High Window
    • Louis Owens, Indian Farm-workers on 66
    • Ry Cooder, The Music of 66
    • Robert Ervin, Soul in the Desert
    • Earlene Fowler, Blue Time
    • Sylvia Plath, Sleep in the Mojave Desert
    • Joan Didion, Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream
    • Ross MacDonald, Sleeping Beauty
  • VI. The Future of 66
    • Peter Friedman, A Rocket Scientist Looks at Route 66's Future
    • Fredric Brown, Rogue in Space
    • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  • A Select Route 66 Bibliography
  • Credits
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author

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