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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 October 2010
The book is simply said a masterpiece - one can hardly imagine a more eclectic, and as a result better rounded representation of all the various aspects of how the car has influenced society since its introduction.

It includes everything from the impact on the personal mobility side, to the transcending of themes automotive into general art and culture, to driving in various parts of the world, to the development and design of road networks, support infrastructure like petrol stations, from the massive labour upheavals and organized labour movements of the pre- and post-war periods, to questions such as whether working on an assembly line is necessarily dehumanizing. There is an excellent essay on the top car movies, one on applying Balint's psychology to driving, on driving in Russia and Romania, the car culture of Japan, the lengths to which CUbans need to go to keep the American behemoths of the 50s rolling in spite of the decade long US embargo, and many others.

The book is organized into broad themes so finding answers to specific questions will not be a problem but it is much more useable as a vehicle for discovery - of aspects relating to cars one did not even previously think about. It's a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours every now ad then but might be a bit much to try and read it from cover to cover - in my opinion it raises plenty of questions and incites further thinking, which one would not want to suppress by simply plodding on.

The scope and themes captured will also mean that the book has an applicability and holds interest for audiences much broader than just automotive fans.
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