A Route 66 Companion

Paperback | February 1, 2012

EditorDavid King Dunaway

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 ...

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 P...

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A Route 66 Companion
A Route 66 Companion

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.55 × 0.55 inPublished:February 1, 2012Publisher:University of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292726600

ISBN - 13:9780292726604

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael WallisIntroductionI. Railroads and the Prehistory of Route 66Dave Edmunds, Buffalo Hunting on Route 66 Washington Irving, A Tour on the PrairiesCount de Pourtalès, On the Western Tour with Washington IrvingEdward F. Beale, The Journals of the Superintendent of the Wagon WorldMichael Amundson, Railroaders' Route 66Hal G. Evarts, Jr., One Night in the Red Dog SaloonZane Grey, The U.P. TrailMan Susanyatame, Recalling Route 66's Trail of TearsA Bioregional Approach to Route 66: An IntroductionII. Prairie 66: Illinois, Missouri, and KansasVachel Lindsay, The Santa Fe TrailCarolyn Wheat, Too Many MidnightsThomas Wolfe, The Lost BoyJay Smith, The Boy: Okie Passage on Route 66David August, Blind CornerJames H. Cobb, West on 66III. Plains 66: Oklahoma and TexasGreg Malak, Working with WillWill Rogers, The Autobiography of Will RogersLance Henson, Back Road 66Karen Hesse, Wild Boy of the RoadVictor H. Green, The Negro Motorist Green BookGary Phillips, '53 BuickEdmond Threatt, Black on 66Michael Wallis, Mr. Route 66Robert M. Davis, Kicking 66Delbert Trew, On Route 66 in TexasStanley Marsh III, Cadillac RanchIV. Mountain 66: New Mexico and ArizonaRaymond Wierth and Joe Miller, Mining Along 66Harvey Fergusson, Hot SaturdayPaul Horgan, The Thin Mountain AirMary Toya, Laguna ExileJohn Steinbeck, The Grapes of WrathLeslie Marmon Silko, CeremonyLucille Fletcher, The Hitch-HikerHenry Miller, The Air-Conditioned NightmareRudolfo Anaya, Hispanic on Route 66V. Desert and Coastal 66: CaliforniaEd Gorman, GunslingerRaymond Chandler, The High WindowLouis Owens, Indian Farm-workers on 66Ry Cooder, The Music of 66Robert Ervin, Soul in the DesertEarlene Fowler, Blue TimeSylvia Plath, Sleep in the Mojave DesertJoan Didion, Some Dreamers of the Golden DreamRoss MacDonald, Sleeping BeautyVI. The Future of 66Peter Friedman, A Rocket Scientist Looks at Route 66's FutureFredric Brown, Rogue in SpaceAldous Huxley, Brave New WorldA Select Route 66 BibliographyCreditsAcknowledgmentsAbout the Author

Editorial Reviews

A Route 66 Companion is a great read and should find its way tothe hands of any armchair traveler or lover of the history of the American West. - Nancy MacKay