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Best Transportation System in the World: Railroads, Trucks, Airlines, & American Public Po
Rose, Seely, & Barrett
Ohio State Univ Press
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Date Listed:
2007-04-23 17:47:44
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Best Transportation System in the World:

The Railroads, Trucks, Airlines, & American Public Policy in the 20th Century

By Mark H. Rose, Bruce E. Seely, and Paul F. Barrett.

318 pages, 6x9, color laminated hardcover, index, bibliography.

"This important book argues persuasively that it was history and politics, not markets and competition, that determined public policy toward transportation from 1920–1980. Skillfully pulling together the histories of the various modes of transportation, the book makes the case that politics was more significant even than technical expertise—invariably, the work of experts was bested by politics.” —William H. Becker, George Washington University

"From 1920 to the mid-1990s, American transportation in the form of railroads, trucks, and airlines was simply a creature of politics and public policy. In brief, the markets for rail, truck, and airlines were not natural entities, but had been created through hard-fought political contests, full-time lobbying, and unceasing litigation. Between 1940 and the late 1970s, moreover, leaders of rail, truck, and airline firms lobbied and litigated to protect the workings of this regulatory regime.

"In the mid-1950s, President Eisenhower asked Congress to award railroad executives authority to modify prices and service. Eisenhower was concerned about a railroad industry in decline. During the 1960s, President Johnson sought broad deregulation of rail, truck, and airline firms. Johnson wanted another device to “fine tune” the economy. In the 1970s, Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter sought to deregulate transportation with a view toward reversing “stagflation.” Between 1978 and 1980, Congress and President Carter approved deregulation of airlines, trucking, and railroads. Carter aide Mary Schuman played a crucial role in bringing about airline deregulation. For all the market talk that surrounded transportation politics before and after 1980, however, officials of the American state had been and remained the principal agents creating those markets."

"Mark H. Rose is professor of history at Florida Atlantic University. Bruce E. Seely is professor of history at Michigan Technological University. Paul F. Barrett was professor of history at Illinois Institute of Technology."