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Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike
Two American Studies professors from Rutgers University here show how the New Jersey Turnpike--that "ugly icon,'' America's "widest and most traveled'' road--has found its way into the minds, if not the hearts, of artists and drivers alike. In poet Allen Ginsberg, singer Bruce Springsteen, commuters and roadside home owners lulled to sleep by its drone of traffic, this 12- ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 1992 by Rutgers University Press
(first published 1989)
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Ever wonder what toll collectors do when a motorist pulls up with no money? Did you know that it is against the law to take pictures on the New Jersey Turnpike? Want to know how the sensors work that are embedded in the road to help monitor traffic flow? Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike is not a book one would normally rush out to read, but after reading several favorable reviews I gave it a chance and discovered to my delight it was impossible to put down. The authors, two Rutgers ...more
First of all I have to admit that I didn't finish reading this book primarily because it was not what I thought it was. Secondly, it was dry and thirdly, while only written in the late 1980s, it was wildly out of date. For people interested in the history and politics behind building the New Jersey turnpike, this book provides valuable data, otherwise I think you should skip it. I tried repeated to read the book, skipping chapters hoping to find a place that drew me in, but alas I gave up.
Due to the age of this book it is somewhat hard to completely relate to the text, but the history section of the book does provide insightful knowledge. The writing of the book is dry at times, but if you are from the area or take an interest in Americana there is room for reflection in the text.