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The Takeaway


September 6, 2010
Matt appeared on the public radio show The Takeaway and spoke with host John Hockenberry about why the I-69 saga is so unique, and what it might portend for the future of American Transportation.


Indianapolis Monthly


September 1, 2010
The chapter "When This Was All Field," introducing longtime I-69 opponents Thomas and Sandra Tokarski, appeared as an excerpt in Indianapolis Monthly: "

I remember I used to ride in cars through the Midwest and see old farmhouses a stoneís throw from the interstate and wonder why anyone would build their house that close to the highway. They didnít, of courseóthe road came to them. It can be difficult to imagine a landscape as it was before its dominant man-made feature was built. Itís even harder, perhaps, to stand in the quiet of woods or fields and imagine the man-made structure to follow. I suffered this cognitive dissonance whenever I visited Thomas and Sandra Tokarski, the mother and father of Indianaís anti-I-69 movement, at their home in Stanford, Indiana, 20 minutes southwest of Bloomington...





August 25, 2010
Mary Anastasia O'Grady reviewed the book in the Wall Street Journal. "What we get is more than the story of a road," she wrote. "Interstate 69 is an American-civics reality show, featuring pitched battles among special interests, grass-roots activists, environmentalists, politicians and Beltway bandits. Through it all the author, a former editor at The New Yorker, sticks to the narrative and remains largely apolitical."




August 24, 2010
Dellinger spoke for an hour with Tom Ashbrook about Interstate 69 and the two took calls from Indiana, Louisiana, and Texas. "U.S. Interstate 69 in its full glory or infamy, depending on your view, exists only on maps.... Itís a saga. We trace the highway that wonít die: Interstate 69.





August 23, 2010
Transportation reporter Ben Wear, who covered the Trans-Texas Corridor saga for the Statesmen, reviewed Interstate 69 for the paper, and noted Matt's "meticulous reporting." "Dellinger... has written 310 graceful pages about how things, big things, get done ó and undone ó in America," he wrote. "What distinguishes Interstate 69 is how personal it seems, and how fair.




August 23, 2010
Interstate 69 made the magazine's weekly Best List. "Research for the book required, as Dellinger says, 'Driving. Lots of driving. And several speeding tickets.' His borrowed Chevy Impala racked up 8,500 miles in the process. 'Itís a road-trip book in many ways,' he explains. '[Itís] a good look around the middle of the country and a portrait of how these places see themselves in the reflection of this non-existent highway.' Ē




August 23, 2010
A review of Interstate 69 called the book "nimble,"and reckoned that "most memorable are the impressions of faded conurbations, such as the newly tourist-friendly Clarksdale, Mississippi, and desperate El Dorado, Arkansas."



next american city


August 19, 2010
Transportation blogger Yonah Freedmark wrote of Interstate 69: "The highway, it becomes quickly apparent, is far more than just a way to get from one place to the next: It embodies a conflict over growth, progress, even destiny.... It is difficult to read the book without falling in love both with the wide-eyed economic development strategies of those who would advance the road and the anachronistic love of the land expressed by others who would stop it. Yet only one side can win this fight."



memphis daily news


August 18, 2010
Eric Smith wrote a feature on Matt and his love affair with Memphis:

When Matt Dellinger came to Memphis a few years ago to research the book he was writing on Interstate 69, he stumbled upon the Little Tea Shop on Monroe Avenue. The main reason he chose the storied Downtown eatery was because of its street number, 69, which he figured must be a sign considering his book’s subject matter....




July 4, 2010
The in-flight magazine featured an excerpt of Interstate 69 in its July issue. "Dellinger's even-handed treatment and sparkling narrative make for a compelling read about a road that will, one way or another, change our nation's future," the editors wrote.

You have to hand it to Haynesville: The town keeps its chin up. The busted little oil boomtown in the northwest corner of Louisiana has been in decline for thirty years. Its population, now around 2,500, has dropped by almost a third since 1980. Its onetime great wealth is all but gone. Most of Main Street is closed down and boarded up; even the barber gave up and went back to driving a forklift. But Haynesville looks a little different from the desolate American small town you may be imagining...



July 1, 2010
Writer Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), mentioned Interstate 69 in an overview of transportation books, calling it "a nuanced, surprisingly poignant history."



[author photo]


March 25, 2010
Matt Dellinger and Interstate 69 were featured in the Vanity Fair's online Bookopticon. The "interactive field guide illustrates how 10 young authors with potential best-sellers coming out this spring and summer fit into the firmament" of the publishing world.

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