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Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon
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Blue Highways (original 1982; edition 1983)

by William Least Heat Moon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,165None2,993 (4.03)71
Member:LizzieD
Title:Blue Highways
Authors:William Least Heat Moon
Info:Fawcett (1983), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:travel, USA, wrdrbl4, read

Work details

Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon (1982)

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» See also 71 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
loved it! I will read it again. ( )
  ava-st-claire | Feb 21, 2014 |
In 1978, having lost his job and facing a broken marriage, William Least Heat-Moon set out in a refurbished van to go out and travel the backroads of the United States, which were marked in blue in his atlas. Blue Highways is his account of his trip. What struck me most reading it, was how much has changed since the late 70s. The journey was interesting enough, and his method for rating cafes by their calendars has become a classic, but at times I tired of the narrator and his philosophizing on random aspects of life. But when things get good, they get real good.

Recommended for anyone who has ever wanted to go out and look for America or ever wondered what would happen if they took that random exit on the interstate. ( )
  inge87 | Jan 19, 2014 |
In 1977 William Least Heat-Moon lost his job and his marriage, and decided to pack his truck and drive across America on small country roads – depicted on maps as the “blue highways” that trickle off from the major expressways. In his travels he meets fascinating people, explores dwindling small towns and their human history, and considers what he is to do with the rest of his life. Interestingly, although he identifies as Native American like his father, Heat-Moon resembles his white mother, so he frequently hears the unselfconscious racism that white people share with one another. The book is a good, satisfying meander through territory that is by now twice-vanished: the rural towns whose singularity was already being erased by television and superhighways; and the America of 1977, still reeling from the Vietnam War and the social upheaval of the 1960s.
  Lynnkc | Dec 7, 2013 |
This was my first foray into Heat-Moon and such an enjoyable trip I decided to go for another with him. ( )
  MSarki | Mar 31, 2013 |
Rated: A+ ( )
  jmcdbooks | Jan 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
[William Least] Heat Moon climbed into his Econoline van and drove 12,000 miles down the back roads of America — and recorded it all in this big, richly detailed book. ... Heat Moon writes from the perspective of "a contaminated man who will be trusted by neither red nor white." His Indian mind feels an especially violent antipathy to the wasteland of ecocidal capitalism, but his white mind knows how tenuous his red roots are. ... An immensely appealing performance.
added by Roycrofter | editKirkus Reviews (Dec 8, 1982)
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Least Heat-Moonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Camp, Maion Op densecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tex, Gideon denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for the wife of the Chief and for the Chieftain too. In love.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316353299, Paperback)

First published in 1982, William Least Heat-Moon's account of his journey along the back roads of the United States (marked with the color blue on old highway maps) has become something of a classic. When he loses his job and his wife on the same cold February day, he is struck by inspiration: "A man who couldn't make things go right could at least go. He could quit trying to get out of the way of life. Chuck routine. Live the real jeopardy of circumstance. It was a question of dignity."

Driving cross-country in a van named Ghost Dancing, Heat-Moon (the name the Sioux give to the moon of midsummer nights) meets up with all manner of folk, from a man in Grayville, Illinois, "whose cap told me what fertilizer he used" to Scott Chisholm, "a Canadian citizen ... [who] had lived in this country longer than in Canada and liked the United States but wouldn't admit it for fear of having to pay off bets he made years earlier when he first 'came over' that the U.S. is a place no Canadian could ever love." Accompanied by his photographs, Heat-Moon's literary portraits of ordinary Americans should not be merely read, but savored.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:15 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least-Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map--if they get on at all--only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot Mississippi." His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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