Going Places

Going Places

Transportation Redefines the Twentieth-Century West
Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/10/2003
Format: Hardback 103 b&w photos, 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-34202-7
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It seems difficult even to imagine the modern West without reference to its planes, trains, and automobiles. Freeways define modern Los Angeles, as Route 66 still recalls the freedom of the open road. Seattle, long home to Boeing, gave birth to jetliners such as the 707. And once trains with glamorous names like The Sunset Limited and The Great Northern Flyer carried passengers in posh luxury through the grand vistas of the West. "Railways, highways, and skyways link landscapes both ordinary and sublime for tourists in search of scenic splendor," observes Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes. But those same corridors often leaven despair with opportunity for those who dream that the mobility brought by car, train, and plane will help them find better jobs or escape from their pasts.

Going Places looks at three major ways in which transportation has shaped the great Western landscape. There are the transformations brought about by a railroad right-of-way, highway corridors, waterways, and airports, and the larger impacts of transportation on the landscape, such as the development that followed the iron rails westward. Finally, Schwantes considers how travelers experience the passing landscape as framed by the windows of automobiles, passenger trains, and jetliners, and what that might mean. He examines the interconnections between railroad, highway, aviation, and waterways, and between society and modes of transportation. This masterful narrative travels the length and breadth of a vast space, with marvelous anecdotes and telling details that bring the story to life. More than 100 carefully selected photographs complement the text.

Author Bio

Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes is the St. Louis Mercantile Library Endowed Professor of Transportation Studies and the West at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


“"The images of people and their conveyances in Going Places . . .are one of its joys. . . .Mr. Schwantes occasionally joins railway or boat tours as a lecturer. It is hard to imagine a better and more learned traveling companion while covering the miles." —Wall Street Journal A masterful narrative account of how planes, trains, and highways transformed the American West in the 20th century. The transportation boom yielded opportunities for those who dreamt that the mobility brought by car, train, and plane would help them find better jobs or escape from their pasts. Features nearly 100 historic photos. ”

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgements

Prologue: The View from 29,000 Feet and Below
Chapter One: Transportation Corridors Transform the West
Chapter Two: When Railroads Ruled
Chapter Three: Copper Connections and the Last Transcontinental Railroad
Chapter Four: Roads Stretching from Farm to Market, but Seldom Beyond
Chapter Five: The Emergence of New Corridors of Power
Chapter Six: The Twentieth Century Transportation Revolution
Chapter Seven: The New Overland Route
Chapter Eight: Hard Choices for Hard Times
Chapter Nine: Is this Trip Necessary? The Impact of World War II
Chapter Ten: Auto Euphoria and Other Post-War Enthusiasms
Chapter Eleven: The Sky's the Limit
Chapter Twelve: Reinventing the Railroads
Conclusion: The Space of Place
Chapter Notes
Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading