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The Lincoln Highway Book Review

What do Chester, West Virginia; North Platte, Nebraska; and Magna, Utah all have in common? They’re all towns located on the historic Lincoln Highway and they’re all featured in the book The Lincoln Highway: Coast to Coast from Times Square to the Golden Gate Bridge by Michael Wallis and Michael S. Williamson. Those of us that daydream of exploring the soul of America on wheels will enjoy this captivating literary journey of one of our nation’s most historic highways.

Growing up in a small town in Nebraska, I drove on a small sliver of the Lincoln Highway on almost a daily basis. While I knew the road had some historical significance, it really didn’t mean much to me back then. However, as I got older and, especially, once I became an RVer, the historical significance of the places I lived in or visited took on more meaning. So it was such a delight to discover The Lincoln Highway while perusing the travel section of my local library the other day.

This fact-filled and fun-to-flip-through book takes readers on a journey along the scenic Lincoln Highway from New York City to San Francisco. Along the trip, readers will enjoy a captivating history lesson about this famous highway and the people, places, and businesses that have helped create that history. Plus, the book is filled with magnificent photos taken by Williamson, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. Vintage postcards of the towns—many of attractions that are no longer in existence—help to shape the road trip tales.

The pages are filled with stories of mystery, mayhem, murder, and intrigue, including many fascinating accounts of American icons and events that had a great impact on American culture. Readers will relish the fact that many places are still going strong and each and every establishment is rich in history. You’ll learn about little known places like the Hokes Café in Ogallala, Nebraska, where Jack Nicholson ate while filming the movie About Schmidt. You'll also pass through famed supermodel Cindy Crawford’s hometown of DeKalb, IL.

And yet, amongst all of this scenic beauty, within these pages lies a bit of sadness as you catch glimpses of dilapidated and long-abandoned buildings along the route; some, perhaps better off deserted, like the Byberry Mental Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. The neglected buildings reek of loneliness that reminds the reader that both the passing of time, and in many cases the interstate, killed off many of these establishments.

Overall, The Lincoln Highway is full of treasures and makes an interesting and visually appealing RV coffee table book or gift for your wandering RV friends and relatives.

The RV editor rented this book through the county library system


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