October 2010 Featured Book

The Routes of Man

Routes of Man
by Ted Conover '80

"This many-textured journey is not to be missed. Conover deftly navigates the romance and harsh reality of a world intent on a real and not just a virtual connectedness." - Jeb Brugmann, Publishers Weekly

With his marvelous eye for detail, Ted Conover explores six key byways worldwide. In Peru, he traces a load of rare mahogany to its origin. In East Africa, he visits truckers whose travels have been linked to the worldwide spread of AIDS. In the West Bank, he monitors highway checkpoints with Israeli soldiers and then passes through them with Palestinians. He shuffles down a frozen riverbed to see how a new road will affect the isolated Indian region of Ladakh. He describes the exuberant upsurge in car culture as highways proliferate across China. And from inside an ambulance, he offers an apocalyptic but precise vision of Lagos, Nigeria, where congestion and chaos on freeways signal the rise of the global megacity.

A spirited, urgent book that reveals the costs and benefits of being connected--how, from ancient Rome to the present, roads have played a crucial role in human life, advancing civilization even as they set it back.