Don't Make Me Pull Over: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip
By Richard Ratay. Scribner, 2018, 288 pp.
Most of us who took family road trips as children will instantly recognize Richard Ratay's title and the car scenario he describes: parents up front, kids squabbling in the back, Dad, who is driving, reaching back with one hand to grab a misbehaving youngster while yelling, "Don't make me pull over!"—and nearly taking the car off the road.
It's amazing we survived.
In this entertaining book, Ratay takes readers on a tour of the American family road trip, from its origins to its surge after World War II and finally to its decline in the eighties, when it was largely supplanted by air travel. Drawing on his own childhood experience of car trips with his parents and three older siblings, he enlivens his narrative with personal anecdotes, while delving into the many factors that made this peculiar form of travel both possible and popular. Read More