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Growing Up and Getting Old Behind the Wheel: An American Auto Biography by [Schiff, William]
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Growing Up and Getting Old Behind the Wheel: An American Auto Biography Kindle Edition

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Length: 270 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

William Schiff was a behavioral scientist and college professor, who wrote broadly on Perception & Cognition. In his Auto Biography, he describes his childhood and adolescence, his broken family, his romances with cars, driving, films, books, and people, and his travels through the American Landscape from 1940-2010.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 824 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Trafford (29 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvelous Ride Down Memory Lane 15 Oct. 2012
By Lilian Gafni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The best lines quoted in this book are one by the author, "For those who can recall, the thrill of it all..." and the other "Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?" by Jack Kerouac.

This book spans from 1939 to present day, and is a wonderful, auto biographical, memoir of cars and the road. The Front Matter contains a list of cars driven, conjuring yesteryear's cars that kissed the road, from the '39 Chrysler to the 2010 Ford.

The smell of cars, "the slightly sweet, slightly pungent smell of the smooth firm cloth seats of the 1939 maroon Chrysler sedan . . .", as well as in the Cadillac, roadsters, '48 Studebaker, '56 Chevy Convertible, and to the '96 and '98 Audi, brings the scents of wood and leather from new cars. Those memories bring back the "New Car Smell Spray" which gave the smell of new cars while driving used cars.

At a young age, he and his friends appropriated cars from driveways and went for joy rides then returned them until they were caught. The minor infraction put him and his joy-ride buddies in the pen for four years as he and his mates were transferred to a security camp for young first offenders in Florida's Panhandle. The first look at his future when he saw the motto on the arch "Go forth To Serve," froze him with fear. He compared it briefly to the gate at Auschwitz, "Arbeit Macht Frei" or "work sets you free" at the end of WWII. The sentences were later shortened to a little more than a year for the four of them, while two other of his friends spent an additional six months. It was a sobering realization of what life would bring to him. But the author went on to accomplish many academic successes in his life as a professor in academia and the literary field, all documented in the last pages of the book.

Years later, still cruising the roads of America with his wife Susan, he couldn't help reminisce that as the years go by, he's the big fish at the end of the line in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. He then imagines that "the big fish at the end of an imaginary line is not a marlin or a shark, but life itself. I'm holding on tightly, I know the line will eventually break. But just feeling its power there is a thrill."

This book was passed on to me for review and in no way influenced that review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful ride into the past and the present 5 Mar. 2011
By Lauriston F Cone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For anyone who grew up in the 50s and 60s, Bill Schiff's charming "auto-biography" is a nostalgic trip back to childhood and adolescence without ever being cloying or false. Mr. Schiff is more than ready to display his mishaps, misdemeanors, mistakes, and gaffes as he examines his past, while at the same time showing us the joy of his discovery of film, music, academia, love, food, friends, and family. The book is funny, warm, sensitive, insightful....and always delightful. I recommend this highly to all, but especially to those of us who can remember when I-95, television, and the internet didn't exist, but muscle cars, small southern towns, and intimate jazz clubs did.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ride of a lifetime! 12 April 2011
By M. Minderbinder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bill Schiff serves up a generous helping of zeitgeist spanning the 1930's through the present and beyond, delivered with Porsche panache, with VW Beetle brio, and even with a bit of rueful Rambler repentance. Readers will connect with books and films, locales and cuisines, and will readily swap and compare their own tales with Schiff's energetic narrative of vehicular ventures, all played out along that long highway of historical mileposts fixed in the shared memory of a certain generation.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, takes you back in time. 13 Aug. 2010
By Abby Vegas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. It took me back in time to a different era of America, lots of car-talk/car-stuff, but woven around and through it is the story of quite an interesting life. Highly recommend!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, amusing, nostalgic and to the point 27 Dec. 2010
By Jasha M. Levi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great read on its own, and then the author gives us pearls od wisdom which I wish politicians would read and ponder.
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