Route 66: Iconography of the American Highway
Center for American Places, 2005 - 220 páginas
Route 66 was the iconic highway of twentieth-century America, stretching from Chicago and Chicago and the Mississippi River basin to Los Angeles and the Pacific coast, and it connected Americans not only physically but also culturally as an enduring symbol found in classic songs, films, television, and pop art. Arthur Krim explores here the fascinating and complex symbolism behind the famous roadway in this vibrantly illustrated and innovative study.
Route 66 traces the iconography of U.S. Highway 66 first as an idea, then as a fact, and finally as a symbol in American culture. Krim chronicles the history of Route 66 as part of a larger plan to conquer and settle the Native American lands of the Great Plains and Southwest. While the antecedents of Route 66 are to be found in the wagon trails and railroad routes of the nineteenth century, the construction of Route 66 in the twentieth century ushered in the revolutionary era of the modern highway and automobile travel.
Krim looks at how the highway transcended its gravel and concrete physicality to become a metaphor for the American spirit of exploration and democratic freedom. He draws on a wealth of examples to examine how Route 66 evolved through each generation, from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath to Bobby Troup's carefree "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" to the anger and alienation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Combining history and metaphor, literature and images, Krim explores how Route 66 compressed disparate events and cultural ideas into the treasured national memory that the road is now.