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Getting There
The Epic Struggle Between Road and Rail In The American Century
by Stephen B. Goddard - copyright © 1994

"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 rails 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 auto-centric 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 in the glory days of American railroads, Goddard discloses why the robber barons led 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 the 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.

Stephen B. Goddard, a former journalist and congressional aide, practices law in Hartford, Connecticut, and is board president of the Hartford Public Library. He has written widely on transportation issues."

Here are comments from the cover pages of the book:

"As one governmentally weaned on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford lines and teethed on the Merritt Parkway, I have lived road and rail with mixed emotion and more than a little heartburn. Getting There is a great ride from hell to hope." -- Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.

"Getting There is an eye-opening account of our national transportation disaster. Stephen Goddard's persuasive thesis should be understood by every thoughtful American." -- Kenneth T. Jackson, author of Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanizing of America, Barzun Professor of History, Columbia University

"Those who make transporation public policy -- indeed, the greater number who hope to influence its making -- will find Mr. Goddard's explanatory anecdotes and reader-friendly exposition of existing problems a precious and sturdy foundation on which to erect their scaffolds." -- Frank N. Wilner, President, Association of Transportation Practitioners

"Stephen Goddard has constructed a history of how we arrived at gridlock, congestion, and a seriously impaired, out-of-balance transportation system ... Every transportation chairman or committee member of the U.S. Congress and state government legislator should stick this book in their briefcase and carefully read the story of this century's 'Topsy' transportation policy. Goddard makes the solution obvious and so logical." -- Gilbert E. Carmichael, Federal Railroad Administrator (1989-93), Senior Vice President, Morrison Knudsen Corporation

The Epic Struggle Between Road and Rail In The American Century
$28.00 / $38.00 Can. / ISBN 0-465-02639-7
BasicBooks - A Division of HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299

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