Research & Contexts

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  • A Gentleman in Moscow
  • Rules of Civility
  • The Lincoln Highway

Rules of Civility: An Afterword

In the 1920s, the number of automobiles in the United States grew more than fifteen-fold from 500,000 to eight million, but traveling by car was by no means easy. At the beginning of the decade, there were more than two million miles of road in America, but less than 10% of them were paved such that many of them became unpassable following heavy rains. In addition, the majority of roads spider-webbed out of town centers toward local residences and farms. There were few roads that had been designed to directly connect municipalities or cross states, and none of them had identifying signs. The combination of these factors made long distance car travel more of an expedition than a pleasure. But in 1912, an American entrepreneur named Carl Fisher set out to change all of that.
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A Gentleman in Moscow: Gallery

Amor Towles has collated a selection of historical and contemporary images for The Lincoln Highway.
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The Lincoln Highway: Gallery

Amor Towles has collated a selection of historical and contemporary images for The Lincoln Highway.
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Lincoln Highway History

In the 1920s, the number of automobiles in the United States grew more than fifteen-fold from 500,000 to eight million, but traveling by car was by no means easy. At the beginning of the decade, there were more than two million miles of road in America, but less than 10% of them were paved such that many of them became unpassable following heavy rains. In addition, the majority of roads spider-webbed out of town centers toward local residences and farms. There were few roads that had been designed to directly connect municipalities or cross states, and none of them had identifying signs. The combination of these factors made long distance car travel more of an expedition than a pleasure. But in 1912, an American entrepreneur named Carl Fisher set out to change all of that.
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The Lincoln Highway: Music

This is a playlist of music I listened to whilst writing The Lincoln Highway.
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The Lincoln Highway: Questions For Consideration

First of all, if you have come to this Reader’s Guide because you have read A Gentleman in Moscow, I owe you my heartfelt thanks. I hope you enjoyed the book. For those interested in learning more about the background of the book or my process, I encourage you to browse this site where I have placed a variety of supporting materials. In particular, you may be interested in my Q&A (which answers some frequently asked questions) or my brief history of the Metropol Hotel.
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Booklist

In his remarkable first novel, the best-selling Rules of Civility, Towles etched 1930s New York in crystalline relief. Though set a world away in Moscow over the course of three decades, his latest polished literary foray into a bygone era is just as impressive… —Booklist.
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More Reviews for “A Gentleman in Moscow”

"How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed new novel by Amor Towles stretches out with old-World elegance. A Gentleman in Moscow offers a chance to sink back into a lost attitude of aristocracy — equal parts urbane and humane — just what we might expect from the author of that 2011 bestseller Rules of Civility. But if Towles’s story is an escape we crave, it is also, ironically, a story of imprisonment..." –Washington Post
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A Gentleman in Moscow Epigraphary

To inhabit a place like the Kremlin is not to reside, it is to defend one’s self. Oppression creates revolt, revolt obliges precautions, precautions increase dangers, and this long series of actions and reactions engenders a monster; that monster is despotism, which has built itself a house at Moscow. The giants of the antediluvian world,…
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Rules of Civility: Epigraphary

Passages from various books in my library that were published in the 1930s.
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