Thumbing a Ride

Hitchhikers, Hostels, and Counterculture in Canada

Linda Mahood

  • Published: 2018. Paperback April 2019
  • Subject Listing: History / Canadian History
  • Bibliographic information: 344 pp., 29 bandw illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

As a national network of roads spread across Canada, so did the practice of hitchhiking. Thumbing a Ride examines its rise and fall in the 1970s, drawing on records from the time. Many equated adventure travel with freedom and independence, but a counter-narrative emerged of girls gone missing and other dangers. Town councillors, community groups, and motorists demanded a clampdown on a transient youth movement they believed was spreading anti-establishment nomadism. Linda Mahood asks new questions about hitchhiking as a rite of passage, and about adult intervention that turned a subculture into a pressing moral and social issue.
Linda Mahood is professor of history at the University of Guelph.
1. Get your Motor Running: Risk, Ritual, and Rite of Passage Travel
2. Thumb Wars: Adventure Hitchhiking
3. Rucksack Revolution: Quest in the Age of Aquarius
4. Cool Aid: The Transient Youth Movement
5. Crash Pads: Blue Jean Bureaucrats versus the Canadian Youth Hostels Association
6. Head Out on the Highway: Stories from the Trans Canada Highway
7. Car Sick: Hitchhiking Dos and Don'ts
Conclusion: The Vanishing Hitchhiker Eulogy