Book Review: Divided Highways Essay

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Since the beginning of the United States the American people have been on the move. Public transportation has played a major role in the development of this nation and in bringing its citizens together. In the book “Divided Highways”, author Tom Lewis takes the reader on a journey of the building of the Interstates and the consequences(good and bad) that came from them. Lewis believes that the Interstates are a physical characteristic of America and that it shows “all our glory and our meanness; all our vision and our shortsightedness”(xiv). Throughout the book Tom Lewis goes back and forth between the good and bad that came about from building highways. While the paved roads connected our country, made travel time faster, provided …show more content…
Overall, I thought this book had great arguments about why or why not highways have been a good thing. It includes enough history and evidence for the reader to take what their reading and to form their own logical opinion about the highways. The book also does a great job at showing both sides of the perspective and not just going against or for highway system. An area in the book that I think Lewis could have done a better job at is giving the reader more of a before hand history of what life and transportation was like before the spread of the automobile. Also, another weakness of the book was that the author went into too much detail about the personalities and characters of the men involved in the building of the highways. I found these parts of the book unnecessary and quite a bore to read. This book changes the way people should think about the Interstate highways because it shows how much people do rely on them; maybe even too much. The book also makes one think about how much money we spend on gasoline and our reliance on foreign oil companies. The highways are a statement of what the American people are. The Interstate system was a great engineering feat, and it changed the landscape of the United States. It is a controversial subject, but it does reflect us as Americans. Lewis say, “the Interstates have reflected our shifting attitudes about technology, landscape, community, race relations, and the quality of our lives. Indeed,

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