xxiii, 229 pages ; 21 cm
Introduction -- Part I. The truck. Punching in -- Road warriors -- Tenderfoot -- Part II. The powerlane. Hammer down -- Seven shippers -- The pot of gold -- Part III. The big slab. Back on the road -- Here come the movers -- Invisible men -- Baby grand -- Waiting time -- Paradise -- The great white mover -- Epilogue.
More than thirty years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of college to become a long-haul trucker. Since then he's covered more than a million miles packing, loading, and hauling people's belongings all over America. Known by his trucker handle as U-Turn, he spends his days (and many of his nights) in a 53-foot eighteen-wheeler he calls Cassidy. In The Long Haul, Murphy offers a trucker's-eye view of America on the move. Going far beyond the myth of the American road trip, he whisks readers down the I-95 Powerlane, across the Florida Everglades, in and out of the truck stops of the Midwest, and through the steep grades of the Rocky Mountains. As he crisscrosses the country, Murphy recounts the America he has seen change over the decades, from the hollowing-out of small towns to changing tastes in culture and home furnishings. Some 40 million Americans move each year, and very few have any idea what they're getting into or the kind of person to whom they are relinquishing their worldly goods. The Long Haul is also a behind-the-scenes look at the moving industry, revealing what really happens when we call in "the movers." Through it all, Murphy tells stories of the people he encounters on the job: a feisty hoarder in New Hampshire; a Virginia homeowner raging when Murphy's truck accidentally runs down a stand of trees; an ex-banker in Colorado who treats Finn and his crew with undisguised contempt; a widow who needs Murphy to bring her archaeologist husband's remains and relics to a Navajo burial ceremony in New Mexico. These experiences inspire Finn's reflections on work, class, and the bonds we form with the things we own and the places we live.
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