America's Main Street Hotels

Transiency and Community in the Early Auto Age
Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
Categories: History, American
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, two leading experts on the nation’s roadside landscape, examine the crucial role that small- to mid-sized city hotels played in American life during the early decades of the 20th century, a time when the automobile was fast becoming the primary mode of transportation. Before the advent of the interstate system, such hotels served as commercial and social anchors of developing towns across the country. America’s Main Street Hotels provides a thorough survey of the impact these hotels had on their communities and cultures.

The authors explore the hotels' origins, their traditional functions, and the many ups and downs they experienced throughout the early 20th century, along with their potential for reuse now and in the future. The audiobook details building types, layouts, and logistics; how the hotels were financed; hotel management and labor; hotel life and customers; food services; changing fads and designs; and what the hotels are like today.

The book is published by University of Tennessee Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2009 The University of Tennessee Press (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

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Perfect for history geeks!

An interesting history of the town hotel that encompasses the changes in travel as well as the sense of community. Detailing the earliest hotels of this type through the years to the current predicament of repurposing, demolishing, or utilizing the benefits of Historic Preservation. Lack of funding continues to be the major problem due to the greater mobility of patrons and changing needs.
Side note: in my area the small suburban town hotels are struggling while huge conglomerates are building conference centers within less than a half hour's drive despite a perceived glut of such facilities.
Bottom line is that I truly enjoyed and appreciated this book, history geek that I am!
Charles Norman is a creditable narrator with a gift for nonfiction.
I received this audiobook in a giveaway! I really win!

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On the Fence

I wanted to like this book. I'm fascinated by this period in history so the content seemed intriguing to me. It was mostly disappointing. Instead of concentrating on a single hotel or perhaps hotels in a particular city or region, the authors jumped from hotel to hotel faster than a car skidding on ice. There also was a lack of flair; it was a very academic sounding work. The facts were interesting but they come at you faster than oncoming traffic and you didn't have much time before you were whisked off to another hotel in another town miles and miles away.

The narrator had a folksy quality which fit in well with the time period but the narration, too, was off target with its numerous mispronunciations. I found myself saying "Bothwell!" and "Sedalia!" out loud hoping for relief.

I am sorry I didn't fully enjoy this book.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.