Since the early twentieth century, when mass production of automobiles began, the view through the car windshield has redefined how we see the world around us. Highways, whether we detest or delight in them, have likewise become a pervasive feature of nearly every U.S. and European landscape. In designing some roads, such as the American parkway, engineers sought to create an aesthetic visual experience for travelers; with others, such as the Italian autostrada, the primary goal was direct, efficient transportation. These differing design priorities were neither accidental nor inevitable but the outcome of complex historical negotiations influenced by many factors, including political ideology, local geography, and national ethos.
The World beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe is a wide-ranging comparative study of roads and their historical development. Contributors to this volume explore the relationship between highways and the landscapes they traverse, define, deface, or enhance. Through analyses of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Needles Highway, and the Washington Beltway, as well as iconic roads in Italy, Nazi Germany, the former East Germany, and postwar Britain, these authors document the transatlantic exchange of ideas about technology and environment. In the process, they also demonstrate how these ideas have been appropriated for national and nationalistic ends.
|Publisher:||Ohio University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Christof Mauch holds the chair in history at the Amerika-Institut of the University of Munich and was previously the director of the German Historical Institute in Washington. He is the editor and author of more than twenty books, including Nature in German History; Berlin-Washington, 1800-2000: Capital Cities, Cultural Representation, and National Identities; Geschichte der USA; and Shades of Green: Environmental Activism around the Globe.
Thomas Zeller is an associate professor at the University of Maryland, where he teaches the history of technology, environmental history, and science and technology studies. He is the author of Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930–1970 and coeditor of How Green Were the Nazis? Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich and Rivers in History: Designing and Conceiving Waterways in Europe and North America.
Table of Contents
List of Figures ix
Foreword David E. Nye xi
Introduction Christof Mauch Thomas Zeller 1
Driving Cultures and the Meaning of Roads: Some Comparative Examples Rudy J. Koshar 14
The Rise and Decline of the American Parkway Timothy Davis 35
The Scenic Is Political: Creating Natural and Cultural Landscapes along America's Blue Ridge Parkway Anne Mitchell Whisnant 59
"A Feeling Almost beyond Description": Scenic Roads in South Dakota's Custer State Park, 1919-32 Suzanne Julin 79
"Neon, Junk, and Ruined Landscape": Competing Visions of America's Roadsides and the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 Carl A. Zimring 94
A Rough Modernization: Landscapes and Highways in Twentieth-Century Italy Massimo Moraglio 108
Building and Rebuilding the Landscape of the Autobahn, 1930-70 Thomas Zeller 125
Socialist Highways?: Appropriating the Autobahn in the German Democratic Republic Axel Dossmann 143
"'Beautified' Is a Vile Phrase": The Politics and Aesthetics of Landscaping Roads in Pre- and Postwar Britain Peter Merriman 168
Physical and Social Constructions of the CapitalBeltway Jeremy L. Korr 187