Tuesday, August 9, 2022


A wonderful, nostalgic book about the history of the family road trip

Don’t Make Me Pull Over: The Informal History of the Family Road Trip” by Richard Ratay is a wonderful, nostalgic story of the golden age of family road trips.

With the birth of America’s first interstate highways in the 1950s came the rush of the family road trip. Ratay and his family were a part of that packed-back-seat, souvenir-shopping, attraction-seeking era, and he’s here to tell you about it.

This informative, fun, and hilarious family narrative perfectly captures what it’s like to have a love-hate relationship with road trips, and why they were such an important piece of American history.

The Wall Street Journal writes, “Richard Ratay’s long-distance childhood adventures in his family’s giant land cruisers are at the center of Don’t Make Me Pull Over!, a breezy and warm-hearted ‘informal history’ of the great American family road trip…It all goes down like a cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Mr. Ratay is a charming raconteur who always seems to know just when it’s time to get us all back into the car with his big, quintessentially middle-class family.”

If you’re in need of a great new book, pick yourself up a copy here.


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10 months ago

I bought this book a few years ago. Great book! The Great American road trip – memories of riding in our van with my 3 siblings, my parents and my grandparents from Texas to California, stopping for a lunch of sandwiches at a rest stop. Dad always trying to Crack a joke about stopping for the odd roadside attractions.

Robert Michael Gunter
1 year ago

Great book. Read it when it was first released. Awesome balance of history. nostalgia and humor.

Pat G
1 year ago

1948 my family of 6 drove from Calif. to Ill. to see grandparents. Across the Salt Lake my dad was driving, me in the middle, 1 boy next to the window..behind him, my mom, middle another boy, window another boy..with 3 boys they carried a qt jar for “emergency” use. The backseat boys used it and passed it on to the front seat boy, who said “what do I do with it?” Windows were all down because it was HOT, 2 lane highway , no cars in sight..my mom said hang on to the jar and throw it out the window..And so he did..WELL, the urine went out the front window and in the back window, all over my mom..My dad laughed so hard he had to stop, finally got mom cleaned up and dry and began again..Still cracks me up thinking of it 72 years later..

2 years ago

We actually started family road trips back in the ’40s. My daddy had been a traveling salesman before he married Mother. We took our first trip around 1946 to Carlsbad Cavern. Every summer after than, as soon as school was out, we were gone for two weeks. We always went west, as Daddy said there were too many people in the east. And there were no freeways, only two lane highways that pretty much followed the lay of the land. What great memories!

2 years ago

Really would like a snippet of the book. I enjoy things like that but I’m not a reader and would I be happy spending money on it? After years reading about Travels with Charlie, I finally got the book from the library. Believe it or not,the book is still in demand. Well anyway, I read it. IMHO, a waste of time. Not at all what I expected.

Jeff Treneff
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

I bought it online to read on my Kindle. It was a fantastic book. Full of humor and some fun facts as well.

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