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Making and Selling Cars: Innovation and Change in the U.S. Automotive Industry Hardcover – 16 Nov 2001

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4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews from Amazon.com

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Review

"Surveys a wide terrain, ranging from the development of Henry Ford's production methods to the impact of globalization on the automobile markets at the end of the century... Throughout, the prose is clear and accessible. Rubenstein has the eye for a telling statistic and the ear for a pithy quotation... If this book were a car, it might be a full-sized sedan. Capacious and comfortable, it covers a lot of ground smoothly. Historians, geographers, and industrial organization specialists in economics will find it appealing... The book is carefully designed and eminently functional. Finally, it is likely to hold its value well and provide a comprehensive, reliable treatment of a pivotal industry for some time to come." -- Enterprise and Society



"The strengths of the work lie in its discussions of the early entrepreneurs and dealerships and of recent market trends. Rubenstein, who is a geographer, presents an excellent examination of regional sales and production trends... [Making and Selling Cars] would serve as a fine text for undergraduate courses on the motor industry." -- Business History Review



"Rubenstein has written a very useful book for those of us interested in the evolution of the American automobile industry... Rubenstein manages to make sense of the evolution of key factors, at the same time as isolating elements that remain central to the success (and occasional failure) of the U.S. automotive industry." -- Virginia Quarterly Review



"The analysis within the book moves understandings of the [automobile] industry in a number of new directions... The length of the perspective taken (over 100 years), the breadth of disciplines that the author draws on, and the attractive writing and visual presentation of the book all combine to provide readers with a valuable source text." -- Prometheus



"This is a comprehensive history of the automobile industry with much data on production and the market... Rubenstein obviously loves cars... The book is fascinating." -- Science, Technology and Society



"A comprehensive and engaging survey of the history of the American automotive industry." -- History



"This is a book written for the person who wants to learn everything there is to know about the history, economics, sociology, engineering practices, marketing strategies, and biographies of leading figures associated with the automobile industry, all contained in a single, easy-to-read story." -- Professional Geographer



"James Rubenstein's new book adds to the voluminous literature on the industry. What makes his book noteworthy is that he has brought together material that is usually the preserve of different types of scholarship, and done so in a straightforward manner impressive in scope." -- Technology and Culture



"It is the best discussion of the evolution of the process of manufacturing cars that I know of." -- Journal of Economic History



"For readers seeking an overview of the industry Rubenstein's book offers a useful profile, especially for the last quarterly century." -- Indiana Magazine of History



"No one has actually performed the service of covering the entire U.S. motor vehicle industry in great detail -- until now." -- Sean P. McAlinden, Ph. D., Associate Research Scientist and Manager of Economic Studies, University of Michigan

From the Back Cover

From the creation of fast food to the design of cities, the automobile has shaped nearly every aspect of modern American life. James M. Rubenstein documents the story of the automotive industry, revealing it as a vigorous shaper of the American economy as well as an industry constantly struggling to redefine itself.

"What makes [Rubenstein's] book noteworthy is that he has brought together material that is usually the preserve of different types of scholarship, and done so in a straightforward manner impressive in scope." -- Technology and Culture

"A comprehensive history of the automobile industry with much data on production and the market... The book is fascinating." -- Science, Technology and Society

"This is a book written for the person who wants to learn everything there is to know about the history, economics, sociology, engineering practices, marketing strategies, and biographies of leading figures associated with the automobile industry, all contained in a single, easy-to-read story." -- Professional Geographer

James M. Rubenstein is a professor of geography at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His previous publications include The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, An Introduction to Geography: People, Places, and Environment, and The Changing U.S. Auto Industry: A Geographical Analysis.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Geographer Gets Lost 20 Sept. 2010
By John Mccarrier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is a professor of geography who is an expert on the location and operation of domestic auto assembly and component manufacturing plants. In this book he tries to parley that limited knowledge into a history of the U.S. auto industry and fails miserably. This would be a difficult task for a competent historian and is clearly a fool's errand for a geographer.

The organization of this book is islands of information surrounded by a sea of ignorance. The islands are based on the author's previous research, a limited list of books, and articles from Automotive News. He leans heavily on The Machine that Changed the World by James Womack and an obscure book from 1914 by Parlin and Younker. The surrounding sea is the numerous aspects of the industry's history that the author ignores or mangles.

The book does provide an interesting analysis of how the domestic auto manufacturers moved away from their traditional class based marketing strategy when they introduced compact versions of their mid-priced brands in the early 1960's.

A key lesson from this book is "Don't judge a book by its publisher". Johns Hopkins University Press has published some excellent books on automotive topics. This is not one of them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book 5 Jun. 2014
By Jack Petry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of the information is perfect for a car lover of any kind. Dr. Professor James Rubenstein is a brilliant writer who wrote the book a a way that one just feels like reading more and more. Oddly enough, I read this whole book in one, very long sitting because it was all so interesting. I knew a lot of the information, but a good writer can make hearing things you know just as interesting as learning it for the first time!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and comprehensive book 29 Jun. 2011
By armydray13 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed how thorough the book was, and learned a great deal. The author takes nothing for granted and really wants to educate the reader in simple to understand language. Some sections I found myself skimming because the information seemed too basic, but in all an excellent and comprehensive review of the U.S. auto industry.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book buying experience 18 Oct. 2009
By Xian Zhang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good quality. Fast speed! (ordered on Thur. and seller shipped it on Fri., finally got it on the next Monday, never received an item this fast ordering on Amazon. really appreciate)
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing meets Car Lover 12 May 2008
By A. Moemeka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for research on marketing in the US automotive industry. Excellent resource. Complete coverage of the entire industry from its inception.
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