It started in the heartland and originally ended in Los Angeles (not, contrary to myth, at the ocean). It carried truckers crossing the country, Okies fleeing the Dust Bowl, vacationers seeking the sun. It was Americas Main Street, the Mother Road, the Will Rogers Highway, and, at its dangerous curves, Bloody 66. Get your kicks on Route 66 with this wonderfully illustrated tribute to the best-loved highway in this car-loving nation. Michael Witzel shares his expertise and wealth of personal, archive, collector, and contributing photographer images in these pages, offering a nostalgic tour of the charms and oddities of this road through American cultural history.
Starting in Chicago and running to Santa Monica, this book highlights the sights along the highway with historic and current photos in then-and-now pairings, and includes Route 66 postcards, road signs, trinkets, maps, brochures, and advertisements.
Here we 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. Witzel and his wife, Gyvel Young-Witzel, recount the highways history, its role in popular culture, and its demise, as well as the individual stories of famous sights. Several profiles of those with close ties to the Mother Road, including the woman who played Ruthie Joad in the The Grapes of Wrath film, are included.