Travel/Travel Literature

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Featured Travel Books

"THERE ARE FOUR ROADS LEADING TO SANTIAGO, WHICH COMBINE TO FORM A SINGLE ROAD" -- So begins The Pilgrim's Guide, the world's first guidebook. Written early in the twelfth century by Benedictine monks, it served travelers taking part in the great pilgrimage of the Middle Ages, to the tomb of the apostle St. James, the cousin of Christ, at Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. The four roads are all in France: from Paris in the north; from Vezelay in Burgundy; from Le Puy-en-Velay in the Massif Central; and from Arles in Provence- all threading their way across the country before joining as a single road in northern Spain. A step-by-step account of these four journeys through medieval France, the Guide's aim was to explain to pilgrims the religious sites they would see on their way to Santiago, but it also offered advice on where to stay, what to eat and drink, and how to avoid dishonest innkeepers and murderous boatmen. Edwin Mullins follows the same four roads as they exist today in the footsteps of those medieval travelers. He explores the magnificent churches, abbeys, and works of art which are the proud legacy of the pilgrimage, as well as reconstructing a turbulent period of history that encompassed wars, crusades, and the re-conquest of Spain. Many of the buildings and landmarks that sprang up along the pilgrim routes still stand there today, and The Four Roads to Heaven brings to life their historical, architectural, and spiritual significance. From imposing Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals to humble pilgrims' hospices, this book looks at the living legacy of one of the great social phenomena of the Middle Ages- the pilgrimage to Santiago. Richly illustrated with Adam Woolfitt's color photographs, The Four Roads to Heaven offers an invaluable guide- nine hundred years after its predecessor- to the paths still trodden by increasing numbers of pilgrims.

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An insightful cultural history that will appeal to fans of rock music and new jersey. Bruce Springsteen- "The Boss"- has towered over the rock world since he shot to international fame with "Born to Run" and other classics in the early 1970s. He has always been an outspoken advocate of his home state of New Jersey, which has produced many stars of stage, screen, and the musical world, and was the backdrop for the global success of the award-winning The Sopranos TV series. In this original narrative of travel and cultural analysis, historian and author James Pettifer makes his own philosophical journey in which Springsteen's music becomes a metaphor for the nature of New Jersey society. Set within the kaleidoscope of life in the state with its rich and complex history, it takes place in the key year of 2007 with the release of the brilliant Magic album at the height of the Bush administration and against the background of the intensifying Iraq War. This book takes up Sopranos producer David Chase's nostrum that New Jersey is a state of mind as much as a state, and explores the extraordinary loyalty it inspires among its cognoscenti and the derision from its detractors. In a place of acute social contradictions, driving energy and vast differences in wealth, the glittering intellectual world of Princeton is a short Turnpike drive away from some of the most dangerous urban areas in the United States. The Jersey Shore is also a recurrent theme, with its romantic history, sinister marshlands, vast and beautiful sand dunes, and violent winter storms. In Meet You in Atlantic City James Pettifer has written a unique cultural history that will appeal to rock fans with its insights into the 2007/8 Magic album tour, the last to include founding E Street Band members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons. It is also a guide to the central role of New Jersey in American history generally, where decisive battles in the War of Independence were fought in and near Princeton and its more modern role as a seminal state where the influence of crime and gambling on society that led to the Trump presidency was already visible.

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Mark D. Van Ells is Professor of History at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York. He is the author of Wisconsin (On the Road History), also published by Interlink. His website is markdvanells.com.

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