Automobile and American Life

ISBN-10: 0786440139

ISBN-13: 9780786440139

Edition: 2009

Authors: John Alfred Heitmann

List price: $35.00
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This is the story of how the essence of life in America changed because of the widespread adoption of the automobile, the people and institutions behind those changes, and how American car culture has been represented in film, song, poetry and literature. The book covers the automobile from its inception as a mechanical curiosity and later a plaything for the well-to-do; Henry Ford and the rise of the machine age; competition and the evolving consumer in the 1920s; the development of roads and the accompanying road culture; religion, gender, courtship and sex; the Great Depression; World War II; the 1950s golden age of automobiles and the emergence of youth culture, the hot rod and rock and roll; societal changes in the 1960s as represented by automobiles; and the numerous changes since 1980.
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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 2/19/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 260
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Introduction: The Automobile, Its History and Influence, and Some Contradictions
Beginnings: From a Mechanical Curiosity to a Plaything for the Well-to-Do
European by Birth, American by Adoption
Technological Antecedents: The Bicycle
Compact Power: The Internal Combustion Engine
Choices Made: Competition from Steam Engines and Electric Motors
American Pioneers
Organization as Power
The Automobile for Better or Worse?
Music Galore
The Mechanical Arts and the Coming of the Machine Age
The Quest for Speed
The Inscrutable Henry Ford and the Rise of the Machine Age
From a Dearborn Farm to the World Stage
Frederick Winslow Taylor and "One Best Way"
The Genesis of Mass Production at Highland Park
The Flivver King
The Model T: What a Car!
Later Years: Hero or Anti-Hero?
Gone in Sixty Seconds: Joy-Riders and Criminals
The Rise of the Competition and the Consumer During the 1920s
Billy Durant and "Silent" Sloan
Kettering, Earl, and "Keeping the Customer Dissatisfied"
The City of the Future and Dynamic Dayton of the 1930s
The Last of the Big Three: The Chrysler Corporation
The Independents
Innovation at the Periphery: The Cracker Jacker, Rickenbacker
The Jordan and Advertising the Dream
From Out of the Mud to On the Open Road
Which Came First: Good Roads or the Automobile?
The Good Roads Movement
A Transcontinental Link: The Lincoln Highway
Federal Legislation and the Gas Tax
Two Lane Black Top, or Concrete If There Is Money
Auto Camping and "Gypsying" Across America
Fill 'er Up
Road Food
Divided Highways, Parkways, and Expressways
Religion, Courtship, Sex, and Women Drivers
An Answer to Prayer or Something to Pray About?
Sex in the Back Seat
Those Women Drivers!
Cars as Homes
The Interwar Years: The Great Depression, Aerodynamics, and Cars of the Olympian Age
Olympian Automobiles of the 1930s
Streamlining and the Chrysler "Airflop"
Sitdown, the Coming of the United Auto Workers, and the Battle of the Overpass
The Poetic Response to the Automobile
Singing the Blues about Automobiles and Life
Filming on the Race Track and Soundstage
World War II and the Reconversion Economy: No Time for Sergeants or Aspiring Automobile Manufacturers
"Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep. . ."
Wartime Labor: Sacrifices and Selfishness
Gas Rationing
The Black Market: "Chiseled Gas"
The Reconversion Economy and a Man's Dream
The Golden Age of the Automobile: The 1950s in America
The Automobile and Civil Rights
Hot Rod
Sports Cars on American Tracks, and The Red Car
Some Critics Surface: Safety and the Environment
Dealers, Good and Bad
The UAW, the Big Three, and Pattern Bargaining
The Cars of the Golden Era
The 1958 Recession and European Competition
The Volkswagen Bug
Cars and Rock and Roll
Film: The Rebels
A Night at the Drive-In
On the Road
The Coming of the Interstates
Summing Up the Glorious 1950s
The Go-Go Years, 1959-1973
The Microbus, Cars, and the Hippies
The Cadillac and the Establishment
An Age of Ambivalence
Harry Crews and the "White Trash" in His Novel Car
Ralph Nader and Unsafe at Any Speed
Government Regulation: Safety and the Environment
From a Brief Affair with Economy Vehicles to the Emergence of the Muscle Car
California Dreaming
Oil Shock I
Japanese Automobiles Come in a Big Way to America
James Bond, Steve McQueen, and the Action Thriller
Mobile Lovemaking
Summing Up the Sixties
The Automobile World Upside Down, 1980s to the Present
Rivethead and the Quality Cat
The Automobile and Contemporary Art
Lessons Not Learned
Trucks, Sport Utility Vehicles, and Crossovers
The Car Hobby: Car Crazy
Cars and Crime: The Drive-By
Saturn, Chrysler, and Germans in the New South
New Technologies
Automobiles, Women, Eros, and Film
Poetry, Women, and Passion
Where Does the Automobile in American Life Go from Here?
Epilogue: The Automobile and One American Life
Chapter Notes
Select Bibliography
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