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"It's rush hour in America. Lane upon lane of white-knuckled commuters inch their way downtown, burning gas that really costs them an extra $2.25 a gallon beyond what they pay at the pump, to park in spaces that rent for $150 a month. A stone's throw away, waist-high weeds obscure rusted rials that once sped most people to work without gridlock, air pollution, or parking fees." "How did America go off the track? Why is it the only leading country to spend more to move vehicles than to move people and goods? In this panoramic epic, presented through the eyes of people who lived it, Stephen B. Goddard reveals how the United States became an autocentric society, what this has done to its culture, and why it may lose out in the world marketplace unless it changes course." "Getting There is a human saga of opportunity, greed, high ideals, raw ambition, and heartbreak, told with wit and excitement. Beginning with the glory days of American railroads, Goddard discloses why the robber barons led the campaign for good roads and how government joined automakers, industry and road-builders to create a self-perpetuating highway system. Drawing on original sources, he takes his reader behind the doors of corporate boardrooms and congressional hearing rooms to document dramatically how the "highwaymen" and the railways rocked the financial markets for six decades as they grappled with each other for advantage." "Goddard brings to life angry regulators who nearly destroyed the railways, and backroom wheeler-dealers who perverted President Eisenhower's dream of interstate highways in order to save it. He describes how trolleys were born, suffused American life, and died with the help of conspirators, all within a half-century, and how Amtrak became America's first national railway system." "Getting There describes how road and rail leaders learned that they must cooperate or die, as their global competitors became more productive. Goddard contends that for America to prosper in the new century, it must seize the potential of high-speed trains, "smart" roads, the information revolution, and a landmark new law that empowers citizens to demand balance in transportation."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved