By Dell Upton

From local American websites in New Mexico and Arizona to the traditional earthworks of the Mississippi Valley to the main stylish modern constructions of Chicago and long island, American structure is amazingly various. during this progressive interpretation, Upton examines American structure on the subject of 5 topics: group, nature, know-how, cash, and artwork. 109 illustrations. forty linecuts.

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So why should I expend more space denying potential knights and adventuresses of the road the frisson of unknown perils? Let our half-stifled fears keep us awake as we roll down the interstate in the dry and cozy cab of a westbound semi. 29 Chicago Independent T he cop was a talisman. Barely a minute after he had disappeared, a semi pulled abreast of my spot and the driver waved me over. As I approached, he leaned out the window, an old teamster’s face under a rust-colored baseball cap, and asked me where I was headed.

Only after it was all over did I consider the odd fact that, although there were five of them and I was alone, and we were up on the mountainside where no one could interfere, they never tried to hurt me. Even when we were rolling in the ditch, neither I nor the other guy threw a punch; we were just wrestling, as if we were kids in a schoolyard. I was sorry to lose the guitar, of course, but even that had its good side: I had to hitch back to South Africa to buy another, and was picked up by a biologist from a field station in the desert, who asked me if I was in a hurry and, when I replied in the negative, proceeded to navigate most of the way on dirt roads through the dunes, occasionally stopping to take me on an expertly narrated nature walk.

But to return to the relatively prosaic roads we navigate in our cars: Hitchhiking can be a very fast way to travel, when the traffic is running your way, and all experienced thumbers take pride in knowing how to catch the right wave and surf straight and true to their chosen destinations. Myself, I have often boasted that I can beat Greyhound anywhere in the United States, and if anyone cares to put up the money I’ll prove it tomorrow, rain or shine. But speed is not the reason any of us is out here, nor does any sensible hitchhiker make it a prime concern except on rare occasions.

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