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Narrating a New Mobility Landscape in the Modern American Road Story, 1893–1921

Ambivalence and Aspiration

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128,39 €

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Buch. Hardcover


xxi, 294 S. 12 s/w-Abbildungen, 11 Farbabbildungen, Bibliographien.

In englischer Sprache

Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-3-031-51178-3

Format (B x L): 14,8 x 21 cm


“Stories about roads have always been stories about who we are and where we may go. Vogel reveals the ambivalence with which powerful actors viewed the installation of automobility on the US landscape. Vogel’s recovery of this ambivalence aids us in the crucial work before us as a nation: composing new stories in which the car is no longer the main character.” —Cotten Seiler, Dickinson College, USA, author of Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of American Automobility. “Andrew Vogel’s meticulously researched study of the early development of the US highway system sheds new light on how the American road creates and represents specific kinds of material, cultural, and literary spaces.” —Gary Totten, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA, Editor-in-Chief of MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US, author of Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow. This book examines travel narratives as a medium used by the American public to imagine and negotiate new ways to live in, move through, and share national space. Setting an array of archival material, including congressional deliberations, into analytical conversation with road stories by Walt Whitman, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Upton Sinclair, Emily Post, Zitkala-Ša, Henry Ford and many others, this book reframes our understanding of the origins of American automobility. The evidence gathered here sheds light on the processes by which the defining social infrastructure of the twentieth century came to be enacted, and also exposes the fraught debates and abiding misgivings that continue to roil infrastructure planning today. The insights captured in this study purposefully deepen our attention to questions of land use and collective responsibility at a moment when the ecological and social-justice consequences of American automobility must be thoroughly re-evaluated so that more conscientious mobility futures may be developed. Andrew Vogel is the Honors Program Director and a Professor of English at Kutztown State University of Pennsylvania, where he listens, teaches, and walks the hills in the original homelands of the Lenape peoples.

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