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For an Enhanced Appreciation of the Department of Transportation’s Origins and Developments, A Selected Bibliography, or Some Suggestions for Reading

| Antecedents | The Federal Setting | The Presidents |
| Other Biographies/Memoirs of Use | Modal Histories | Other Issues |


Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005.

Towards A Federal Transportation Policy/Antecedents

*Bourne, Russell. Americans on the Move: A History of Waterways, Railways, and Highways. Golden, >Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 1995.

Davidson, Janet F., & Michael S. Sweeney, On the Move: Transportation and the American Story Washington, D.C.Smithsonian National Museum of American History/ National Geographic, 2003).

*Dilger, Robert Jay. American Transportation Policy. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. 2003.

DiLorenzo, Thomas. How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.

Hogeland, William. The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty. New York: Scribner/A Lisa Drew Book, 2006.

Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. New York: Oxford, 2007.

*Larson, John Lauritz. Internal Improvement: National Public Works and the Promise of Popular Government in the Early United States. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Polk, William R. The Birth of America: From Before Columbus to the Revolution. New York: Harper Collins, 2006.

The Federal Setting: The Sixties and Seventies

**Arnold, Peri E. Making the Managerial Presidency: Comprehensive Reorganization Planning, 1905-1996. Second edition, revised. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

**Burby, John. The Great American Motion Sickness--or Why You Can't Get From There to Here. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1971.

Davis, Grant Miller. The Department of Transportation. Lexington, Massachusetts: D. C. Heath and Company, 1970.

Gould, Lewis L. The Modern American Presidency. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.

*Graham, Otis L. Toward a Planned Society: From Roosevelt to Nixon. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.

**Hazard, John L. Managing National Transportation Policy. Westport, Connecticut: Eno Foundation for Transportation Policy, Inc., 1988.

Kurian, George T., ed. A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Light, Paul C. Monitoring Government: Inspectors General and the Search for Accountability. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1993.

*Malek, Frederic V. Washington's Hidden Tragedy: The Failure to Make Government Work. New York: Free Press, 1978.

Nathan, Richard P. The Plot that Failed: Richard Nixon and the Administrative Presidency. New York: John Wiley, 1975.

Redford, Emmette S., and Marlan Blissett. Organizing the Executive Branch: The Johnson Presidency. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1981.

*Stefany, Wallace Charles. The Department of Transportation. (Know Your Government Series) New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.

The Presidents


Alexander, Charles C. Holding the Line: The Eisenhower Era, 1952-1961. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975.

*Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower: Soldier and President. New York: Touchstone Books, 1991.

Eisenhower, Dwight D. At Ease: Stories I Tell My Friends. New York: Doubleday, 1967.


Blum, John Morton. Years of Discord: American Politics and Society, 1961-1974. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.

Chafe, William H. The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Patterson, James T. Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.


Bornet, Vaughn Davis. The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1984.

**Califano, Jr., Joseph A. The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Dallek, Robert. Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Kearns, Doris. Lyndon Johnson & The American Dream. New York: Signet Books, 1976.


Ambrose, Stephen E. Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Hoff, Joan. Nixon Reconsidered. New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Matusow, Allen J. Nixon’s Economy: Booms, Busts, Dollars, and Votes. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Small, Melvin. The Presidency of Richard Nixon. Lawrence: The University Press of Kansas, 1999.

*Wicker, Tom. One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream. New York: Random House, 1991.


*Brinkley, Douglas.  Gerald R. Ford. New York:Times Books. Henry Holt and Company, 2007.

Greene, John Robert. The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.

*Reichley, A. James. Conservatives in an Age of Change: The Nixon and Ford Administrations. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1981.


Carter, Jimmy. Why Not the Best?  Nashville, Tennessee: Boardman, 1975.

Dumbrell, John. The Carter Presidency: A Reevaluation, 2nd ed. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995.

Jones, Charles O. The Trusteeship Presidency: Jimmy Carter and the United States Congress. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.

*Kaufman, Burton I. The Presidency of James Earl Carter, Jr. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993.


*Barrett, Lawrence I. Gambling With History: Reagan in the White House. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1983.

Brownstein, Ronald, and Nina Eastin. Reagan’s Ruling Class--Portraits of the President’s Top 100 Officials. Washington, D.C.: The Presidential Accountability Group, 1982.

Cannon, Lou. President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

*Johnson, Haynes. Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1991.

Niskanen, William A. Reaganomics: An Insider's Account of the Policies and the People. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Pemberton, William E. Exit With Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1997.

George H W Bush

Greene, John Robert. The Presidency of George Bush. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.

Parmet, Herbert S. George Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee. New York: Scribner/A Lisa Drew Book, 1997.


Clinton, Bill, and Al Gore. Putting People First. New York: Times Books, 1992.

*Drew, Elizabeth. Showdown: The Struggle between the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House. New York: Touchstone Books, 1997.

Other Biographies/Memoirs of Use

Bailey, F. Lee, with John Greenya. Cleared For the Approach: F. Lee Bailey in Defense of Flying. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1977.

Clymer, Adam. Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1999.

*Davis, Jr., Benjamin O. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.

*Dole, Bob and Elizabeth, with Richard Norton Smith. The Doles: Unlimited Partners. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Gould, Lewis L. Lady Bird Johnson and the Environment. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988.

**Halaby, Najeeb E. Crosswinds: An Airman's Memoir. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1978.

Katzmann, Robert A., ed. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life. Washington, D.C.: The Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1998.

**Kilgore, Kathleen. John Volpe: The Life of an Immigrant's Son. Dublin, New Hampshire: Yankee Books, 1987.

Modal Histories


Bradsher, Keith. High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV. New York: Public Affairs, 2003.

Brinkley, Douglas. Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress, 1903-2003. New York: Viking, 2003.

Bruce-Briggs, B. The War Against the Automobile. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977.

*Doyle, Jack. Taken For a Ride: Detroit’s Big Three and the Politics of Pollution. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2000.

*Dunn, Jr., James A. Driving Forces: The Automobile, Its Enemies, and the Politics of Mobility. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998.

Flink, James J. The Automobile Age. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1988.

*Nader, Ralph. Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile. New York: Grossman, 1972.

Reich, Robert B., and John D. Donahue. New Deals: The Chrysler Revival and the American System. New York: Times Books, 1985.


*Baumbach, Jr., Richard O., and William E. Borah. The Second Battle of New Orleans: A History of the Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway Controversy. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1981.

Cox, Wendell, Alan Pisarski, and Ronald D. Utt, eds. 21st Century Highways: Innovative Solutions to America's Transportation Needs. Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 2005.

*Federal Highway Administration. America's Highways, 1776-1976: A History of the Federal-Aid Program. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977.

FHWA By Day: A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration.

Leavitt, Helen. Superhighway--Superhoax. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1970.

*Lewis, Tom. Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life. New York: Viking, 1997.

Panagopoulos, Costas, and Joshua Schenk. All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding. Washington: CQ Press, 2008.  

Patton, Phil. The Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.

*Rae, John B. The Road and the Car in American Life. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1971.

Rose, Mark H. Interstate: Express Highway Politics, 1941-1956. Lawrence: The Regents Press of Kansas, 1979.

Roth, Gabriel, ed. Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads. Oakland, California: The Independent Institute, 2006.

*Seely, Bruce E. Building the American Highway System: Engineers as Policy Makers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.


Davies, R. E. G. Airlines of the United States Since 1914. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983.

**Heppenheimer, T. A. Turbulent Skies: The History of Commercial Aviation. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995.

Kane, Robert M. Air Transportation: 1903-2003. Fourteenth edition. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2003.

**Kent, Jr., Richard J. Safe, Separated, and Soaring: A History of Federal Civil Aviation Policy, 1961-1972. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 1980.

Komons, Nick A. The Third Man: A History of the Airline Crew Complement Controversy, 1947-1981. Washington, D.C.: Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 1987.

Lynn, Matthew. Birds of Prey Boeing vs. Airbus: A Battle For the Skies. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1998.

*Petzinger, Jr., Thomas. Hard Landing: The Epic Contest for Power and Profits That Plunged the Airlines into Chaos. New York: Random House, 1996.

Preston, Edmund, ed. FAA Historical Chronology: Civil Aviation and the Federal Government, 1926-1996. Washington, D.C.: Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration Office of Public Affairs, 1998.

*Preston, Troubled Passage: The Federal Aviation Administration During the Nixon-Ford Term, 1973-1977. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 1987.
Rochester, Stuart I. Takeoff at Mid-Century: Federal Civil Aviation Policy in the Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 1976.


Cudahy, Brian J. Box Boats: How Containerships Changed the World. New York: Fordham University Press, 2006.

Donovan, Arthur, and Joseph Bonney. The Box That Changed The World: Fifty Years of Container Shipping—An Illustrated History. East Windsor, New Jersey: Commonwealth Business Media, 2006.

*Gibson, Andrew, and Arthur Donovan. The Abandoned Ocean: A History of United States Maritime Policy. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000.

Johnson, Robert Erwin. Guardians of the Sea: History of the United States Coast Guard, 1915 to the Present. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987.

Labaree, Benjamin W., et. al. America and the Sea: A Maritime History. Mystic, Connecticut: The Museum of America and the Sea™, 1998.

*Larzelere, Alex. The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1997.

LesStrang, Jacques. Seaway: The Story of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Seattle, Washington: A Salisbury Press Book, 1976.

Ostrom, Thomas P. The United States Coast Guard 1790 to the Present: A History. Oakland, Oregon: Red Anvil Press, 2004.

Mass Transit

Altshuler, Alan, with James P. Womack and John R. Pucher. The Urban Transportation System: Politics and Policy Innovation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1979.

*Cudahy, Brian J. Cash, Tokens, and Transfers: A History of Urban Mass Transit in North America. New York: Fordham University Press, 1990.

Deiter, Ronald H. The Story of METRO: Transportation and Politics in the Nation's Capital, revised edition. Glendale, California: Interurban Press, 1985.

Schrag, Zachary M. Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.

*Smerk, George M. The Federal Role in Urban Mass Transportation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

*Weiner, Edward. Urban Transportation Planning: An Historical Overview, revised edition. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, 1992.


Douglas, George H. All Aboard! : The Railroad in American Life. New York: Paragon House, 1992.

Ely, Jr., James W. Railroads and American Law. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001.

*Goddard, Stephen B. Getting There: The Epic Struggle Between Road and Rail in the American Century. New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Harr, John E., comp. The Great Railway Crisis: An Administrative History of the United States Railway Association. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Public Administration, n. d.

*Itzkoff, Donald M. Off the Track: The Decline of the Intercity Passenger Train in the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985.

**Loving, Rush. The Men Who Loved Trains: The Story of Men Who Battled Greed To Save an Industry, Bloomington: Indiana Press, 2006.

*Martin, Albro. Railroads Triumphant: The Growth, Rejection and Rebirth of a Vital American Force. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Nice, David C. Amtrak: The History and Politics of a National Railroad. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998.

Pell, Claiborne. Megalopolis Unbound: the Supercity and the Transportation of Tomorrow. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1967.

Saunders, Richard. Main Lines: Rebirth of the North American Railroad Industry, 1970-2002.  DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2005.

Vranich, Joseph. Derailed: What Went Wrong and What to Do About America's Passenger Trains. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997.

Vranich, Supertrains: Solutions to America’s Transportation Gridlock. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

*Wilner, Frank N. The Amtrak Story. Omaha, Nebraska: Simmons-Boardman Books, 1994.

Wilner, Railroad Mergers: History Analysis Insight. Omaha, Nebraska: Simmons-Boardman Books, 1997.


Agar, Michael H. Independents Declared: The Dilemmas of Independent Trucking. Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986.

Durr, Kenneth D., and Philip L. Cantelon. Never Stand Still: The History of Consolidated Freightways, Inc. and CNF Transportation Inc., 1929-2000. Rockville, Maryland: Montrose Press, 1999.

Wyckoff, D. Daryl, and David H. Maister. The Owner-Operator: Independent Trucker. Lexington, Massachusetts: D.C. Heath and Company, 1975.

Other Issues

Transportation Statistics

Citro, Constance F., and Janet L. Norwood, eds. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Priorities for the Future. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997.

Military Logistics

Matthews, James K., and Cora J. Holt. So Many, So Much, So Far, So Fast: United States Transportation Command and Strategic Deployment for OperationDesert Shield/Desert Storm. Washington, D.C.: Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Research Center, United States Transportation Command, 1995.


Breyer, Stephen. Regulation and its Reform. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1982.

Cary, William L. Politics and the Regulatory Agencies.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.

*Derthick, Martha, and Paul J. Quirk. The Politics of Deregulation. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1985.

Felton, John Richard, and Dale G. Anderson, eds. Regulation and Deregulation of the Motor Carrier Industry. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1989.

Moses, Leon N., and Ian Savage, eds. Transportation Safety in an Age of Deregulation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

*Peterson, Barbara Sturken, and James Glab. Rapid Descent: Deregulation and the Shakeout in the Airlines. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Redford, Emmette S. The Regulatory Process: With Illustrations from Commercial Aviation. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969.      

Robyn, Dorothy. Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Disabilities and Transportation

*Bowe, Frank G. Handicapping America: Barriers to Disabled People. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.

Fleischer, Doris Zames, and Frieda Zames. The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001.

Gostin, Lawrence O., and Henry A. Beyer, eds. Implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act: Rights and Responsibilities of All Americans. Baltimore, Maryland: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1993.

*Katzmann, Robert A. Institutional Disability: The Saga of Transportation Policy for the Disabled. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1986.

*Shapiro, Joseph P. No Pity: People With Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement. New York: Times Books, 1994.

Hurricane Katrina

Brinkley, Douglas, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the MississippiGulfCoast (New York: Harper Collins, 2006).

Cooper, Christopher, and Robert Block, Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security (New York: Times Books, 2006),

McQuaid, John, and Mark Schleifstein, Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2006).

*Of special import.
**Worth your time.

Information last updated: 03/1/2009