Item Details

The Longest Line on the Map: The United States, the Pan-American Highway, and the Quest to Link the Americas

Eric Rutkow
Format
Book
Published
New York : Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2019.
Edition
First Scribner hardcover edition
Language
English
Variant Title
United States, the Pan-American Highway, and the quest to link the Americas
ISBN
9781501103902, 1501103903, 9781501103919, 1501103911, 9781501103926
Summary
Chronicles the epic quest to connect the Americas via the Pan American Highway, detailing how its construction and evolution reflected two centuries of divergent history.
"A dazzling account of the world's longest road, the Pan-American Highway, and the epic quest to link North and South America, a dramatic story of commerce, technology, politics, and the divergent fates of the Americas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Pan-American Highway, monument to a century's worth of diplomacy and investment, education and engineering, scandal and sweat, is the longest road in the world, passable everywhere save the mythic Darien Gap that straddles Panama and Colombia. The highway's history, however, has long remained a mystery, a story scattered among government archives, private papers, and fading memories. In contrast to the Panama Canal and its vast literature, the Pan-American Highway--the United States' other great twentieth-century hemispheric infrastructure project--has become an orphan of the past, effectively erased from the story of the 'American Century.' [This book] uncovers this incredible tale for the first time and weaves it into a tapestry that fascinates, informs, and delights. Rutkow's narrative forces the reader to take seriously the question: Why couldn't the Americas have become a single region that 'is' and not two near irreconcilable halves that 'are'? Whether you're fascinated by the history of the Americas, or you've dreamed of driving around the globe, or you simply love world records and the stories behind them, The Longest Line on the Map is a riveting narrative, a lost epic of hemispheric scale."--Dust jacket.
Contents
  • Part I: The rail. The magnificent conception ; The eagle and the octopus ; The route of volcanoes
  • Interlude. Out of the muck
  • Part II: The road. Good roads make good neighbors ; The far western front ; Freedom road ; The missing link.
Description
vii, 438 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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