Publishers Weekly, 1989-09-22 Two American Studies professors from Rutgers University here show how the New Jersey Turnpike--that ``ugly icon,'' America's ``widest and most traveled'' road--has found its way into the minds, if not the hearts, of artists and drivers alike. In poet Allen Ginsberg, singer Bruce Springsteen, commuters and roadside home owners lulled to sleep by its drone of traffic, this 12-lane asphalt monster has inspired powerful reactions, from admiration to anger. The authors consider the first asparagus patch plowed up to lay the road; the $70,000 salary a contemporary toll-taker can earn with hefty overtime; and the not infrequent lawlessness of the highway patrol. From the gray-flannel-suit diligence that built it, to the mixture of necessity, practicality and venality that maintains it, the New Jersey Turnpike proves to be an enthralling though unlikely subject. (Nov.)
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