Chris's Reviews > The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways
The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways
by Earl Swift
by Earl Swift
Perhaps some of it should have remained untold? The first half of this book is interesting but also tedious at times. Swift's main point is that Eisenhower is not the creator of the interstate system as we know it. It was already in place and going to happen when he took office, unbeknownst to him. The current system was created by FDR and a highway bureaucrat named MacDonald or simply the Chief. The Chief's subordinate, Turner, then became the defacto guy for highways right up to Nixon. What was interesting was the part of the book that dealt with urban planning and the fight to keep interstates from ripping up urban downtowns; the fight in Baltimore is told with lots of passion. Lots of interesting characters and unbelievable stuff like the fact they were very seriously considering using 22 nuclear devices for demolition of the mountains in the Mohave Desert where I-40 currently passed north of Amboy. This was to be a cost saving measure to leavel the mountains!! The book ends on a strange note with the disappearance of the guy who created a fuel from water that got better MPG than gasoline.
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