The Weekly Text, 19 November 2021: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on the Interstate Highway System

The passage of President Biden’s signature legislation, the Build Back Better Bill, strikes me as a perfect occasion to post as this week’s Text this reading on interstate highways in the United States, along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I think it’s important to note that a Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, advanced the legislation enabling the construction of a national highway system of the scope our our interstates. What I mean to say here is that once upon a time, Republicans didn’t march in lockstep with each other in holding the idea that government investments in public works is “socialism.”

We take these highways for granted now, but when they were built, they eased shipping and leisure travel to an extent I think we now find difficult to imagine. They also homogenized American commercial culture and, over time, reduced regionalism, which as anyone familiar with the phrase “The Old Weird America” will understand and probably regret. Can I buy you lunch at Perkins/Stuckeys/McDonald’s/Cracker Barrel/Burger King ad nauseam (in some cases literally)?

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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