Reviews in 200 Words

Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway by Matt Dellinger

In Non-Fiction on October 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Admittedly, a book about a highway seems dull at best, even considering the fortunate (or unfortunate) number assigned to the road. But in this case, there’s quite a bit to the story, and to the stories of the people affected by the road…or even, the potential road. Interstate 69 was baptized in Washington DC, but it was born in the town of Washington, Indiana, as a happy accident hatched over eggs. Dellinger grew up in Indianapolis, and this becomes his story—a narrative of a person who grew up being aware of the unfolding of this highway. Indiana defines itself by the famous people who left it, and by the roads they drove away on. People drive through Indiana. Dellinger offers a look at the rural inadequacy that people almost always zoom past. Unbelievably, people rarely think about the why and how to the places that they inhabit. A road—especially a great highway—is a big deal. The history is complicated; the decision-making process is even more complicated. And it’s necessary that this is personal—because, it is personal: this road and these decisions mean life, or death, as many people know it. 

-Micah Ling


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