Synopses & Reviews
On July 7, 1919, a cavalcade of sixty-nine military motor vehicles set off from the White House on an epic journey. Their goal was California, and ahead of them lay 3,250 miles of mud and rock. Sixty-two days later they arrived in San Francisco, having averaged just five miles an hour.
American Road is the story of this incredible trip that was proposed by the government to crystallize the need for good roads. Pete Davies vividly chronicles this remarkable voyage, bringing to life the men on the trip, their trials with uncooperative equipment and weather, and the punishing landscape they encountered. This richly detailed book is a piece of history unknown to many, and a celebration of our love affair with the road.
“Davies recounts these treacherous travels in a brisk and readable style . . . he has put history, sociology, politics, and human nature into well-tuned balance.” —The Boston Globe
“Thoroughly absorbing and often amusing . . . American Road is a fascinating social history of a vanished age and of Americas breathtakingly swift transformation into a mobilized society.” —Bill Bryson, A Book-of-the-Month Club Judges Selection
“A first-rate story.” —Richmond Times Dispatch
“A crackerjack book, a dandy slice of Americana . . . Davies has researched and written well. His anecdotes do not merely amuse, but also illustrate the points being made.” —Chicago Sun-Times
About the Author
Pete Davies is the author of a number of critically acclaimed works of nonfiction, including Inside the Hurricane (0-8050-6611-X) and The Devil’s Flu (0-8050-6622-5). He lives in West