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Uneasy Rider: The Interstate Way of Knowledge

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  9 ratings  ·  3 reviews
"Engagingly curious open-mindedness . . . an amiable deadpan worthy of Richard Ford."--Pico Iyer, Time

in this offbeat and original road book, cultural observer Mike Bryan takes issue with the traditional idea that the "real" America is to be found somewhere on our scenic backroads. He argues instead that it is right out in the open on the interstates, and he travels the bi
Paperback, 364 pages
Published September 29th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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A road book based on the premise that most road books, exemplified by "Blue Highways", make themselves insufferably romantic and out-of-touch by sticking to and glorifying the back roads. A cultural dead-end. This author instead stays close to the interstates, where real people live and real things are happening. I'm on board with an interstate-based road book, but I don't understand the vitriol - interstates may represent main-line culture, but of course culture has its own back roads, too.

This book took a long time to read. Usually I dislike books that take me a long time to read, but I really liked this one. I was kind of happy I got to savor it over the course of a few weeks. I enjoyed his premise - that by sticking to the back roads and demonizing the interstate, road trip writers are ignoring our emerging culture. I found the book to be both engaging and informative about subjects in which I didn't previously think I was interested.

This book is essentially a collection of essays about interstate culture in America. There are some chapters that are more interesting than others, such as the one about how highways are paved, and the one about drug enforcement at US border patrol stations, but generally speaking this is a very interesting read.
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