Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age by Brian Ladd

By Brian Ladd

Cars are the scourge of civilization, chargeable for every thing from suburban sprawl and concrete decay to environmental devastation and rampant weather change—not to say our slavish dependence on overseas oil from doubtful resources overseas. upload the unbelievable expense in human lives that we pay for our automobility—some thirty million humans have been killed in automobile injuries throughout the 20th century—plus the numerous variety of hours we waste in gridlock site visitors commuting to paintings, working errands, determining up our youngsters, and looking for parking, and one can’t support yet ask: Haven’t we had sufficient already? After a century at the back of the wheel, might we be attaining the tip of the car age?
 
From the version T to the SUV, Autophobia finds that our vexed dating with the car is not anything new—in truth, debates over even if vehicles are forces of fine or evil in our international have raged for over a century now, ever because the motor vehicle used to be invented. in response to Brian Ladd, this love and hate dating we percentage with our automobiles is the defining caliber of the automobile age. And everyone has an opinion approximately them, from the shills, oil barons, and radical libertarians who provide autos blithe paeans and deny their in poor health results, to the technophobes, treehuggers, and killjoys who curse automobiles, ignoring the very actual freedoms and merits they supply us. Focusing specifically on our world’s towns, and spanning settings as diverse as belle epoque Paris, Nazi Germany, postwar London, la, ny, and the smoggy Shanghai of this present day, Ladd explores this love and hate dating all through, acknowledging adherents and detractors of the auto alike.
 
Eisenhower, Hitler, Jan and Dean, J. G. Ballard, Ralph Nader, OPEC, and, after all, autos, all come into play during this wide-ranging yet remarkably wry and pithy publication. a stunning reveal of erudition, Autophobia is cultural observation at its such a lot compelling, heritage at its so much searching—and a stunning page-turner.

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Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age

Autos are the scourge of civilization, liable for every thing from suburban sprawl and concrete decay to environmental devastation and rampant weather change—not to say our slavish dependence on international oil from doubtful resources in a foreign country. upload the extraordinary cost in human lives that we pay for our automobility—some thirty million humans have been killed in motor vehicle injuries in the course of the 20th century—plus the numerous variety of hours we waste in gridlock site visitors commuting to paintings, operating errands, picking out up our children, and looking for parking, and one can’t aid yet ask: Haven’t we had sufficient already?

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Farmers near Sacramento, California, dug ditches across roads in 1909 and actually trapped thirteen cars. 27 Worse yet were ropes and wires tied between trees to block roads. If firmly attached, they could do great damage. A shocking case occurred in the Prussian countryside outside Berlin in 1913 , when a wire strung across a highway by unknown assailants struck a couple speeding back to the city after a Sunday drive, beheading them. 2 8 Direct confrontations between motorists and angry peasants were common enough, as the American millionaire and motor enthusiast Wil­ liam K.

Nature is actually already there: lakes flash by, woods with green underbrush, BUYER'S REMORSE 45 A CALIFORNIAN H OLI DAY F i g u re 5. Ca r-centered recreation in Los A n g e l es, as po rtrayed by a v i s i t i n g E n g l i s h cou­ p l e i n 1 9 3 0 . Sketch by J a n a n d Cora Gordon, from t h e i r book Star-Dust in Hollywood (London: George G . H a rrap, 1 930). untamed woods, and then again open fields without a single house: a feast for the eyes, indeed, paradise. " After all, you can't just stop on the parkway.

Moritz. Its total prohibition of cars began in 1900 and was repeatedly reaffirmed by popular referendums (albeit also granted some exceptions) until it was finally repealed in 1925. It was easy to caricature these moun­ tain men (women could not vote) as dull-witted peasant reactionaries, but their resentment was grounded in the solidarity of villages hug­ ging narrow mountain roads and in cold calculations of the costs of road maintenance, the viability of their newly completed mountain railway, and even the preference of spa owners for the more reliable paying visi­ tors who arrived by train and who came expressly to enjoy the peace and quiet now threatened by automobiles.

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