Our continued use of the combustion engine car in the 21st century, despite many rational arguments against it, makes it more and more difficult to imagine that transport has a sustainable future. Offering a sweeping transatlantic perspective, this book explains the current obsession with automobiles by delving deep into the motives of early car users. It provides a synthesis of our knowledge about the emergence and persistence of the car, using a broad range of material including novels, poems, films, and songs to unearth the desires that shaped our present “car society.” Combining social, psychological, and structural explanations, the author concludes that the ability of cars to convey transcendental experience, especially for men, explains our attachment to the vehicle.
Punks, sneaks, mooks and miscreants. Hookers, stooges, grifters and goons. Men and women, elderly and adolescent, rich and poor, but mostly poor. These are the Least Wanted. Their portraits make up a small part of Mark Michaelson's collection of over 10,000 American mugshots from the 1870s to the 1960s. Created as utilitarian instruments, and meant to be destroyed when obsolete, they survive as remnants of a bygone era of hard-copy originals, extraordinary visual windows on the past, and riveting physical artifacts, often accompanied by municipal ephemera. They are glued to cards and manuscripts, typed on and rubber stamped. Each suspect has been measured and fingerprinted, documented and classified. Bored, sheepish, proud, coy, tough, defiant, bounced, bloodied, bruised, broken and innocent faces--innocent until proven guilty--stare back at the camera with unmistakable individuality. This is central casting for the Late Late Show of unvarnished reality, and the lineup is full of small-timers, those who have fallen through the cracks. Each subject, each image, is a person, a portrait, a trace, a crime, a clue, a moment, an expression, a frame, a mustache, a mother, a father, a son or a daughter. Each image is evidence, documentation. A record of people and of stories dismissed by history and rescued here. A century of American souls, filed and forgotten, until now. Contributors include Ian McEwan and New Yorker contributor Malcolm Gladwell.
“Extraordinary…will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library collections…a must read”—Midwest Book Review The electric vehicle seemed poised in 1900 to be a leader in automotive production. Clean, odorless, noiseless and mechanically simple, electrics rarely broke down and were easy to operate. An electric car could be started instantly from the driver’s seat; no other machine could claim that advantage. But then it all went wrong. As this history details, the hope and confidence of 1900 collapsed and just two decades later electric cars were effectively dead. They had remained expensive even as gasoline cars saw dramatic price reductions, and the storage battery was an endless source of problems. An increasingly frantic public relations campaign of lies and deceptive advertising could not turn the tide.
Each year, thousands of tourists visit Mount Mitchell, the most prominent feature of North Carolina's Black Mountain range and the highest peak in the eastern United States. From Native Americans and early explorers to land speculators and conservationists, people have long been drawn to this rugged region. Timothy Silver explores the long and complicated history of the Black Mountains, drawing on both the historical record and his experience as a backpacker and fly fisherman. He chronicles the geological and environmental forces that created this intriguing landscape, then traces its history of environmental change and human intervention from the days of Indian-European contact to today. Among the many tales Silver recounts is that of Elisha Mitchell, the renowned geologist and University of North Carolina professor for whom Mount Mitchell is named, who fell to his death there in 1857. But nature's stories--of forest fires, chestnut blight, competition among plants and animals, insect invasions, and, most recently, airborne toxins and acid rain--are also part of Silver's narrative, making it the first history of the Appalachians in which the natural world gets equal time with human history. It is only by understanding the dynamic between these two forces, Silver says, that we can begin to protect the Black Mountains for future generations.
The first quarter of the 20th century was a time of dramatic change in auto racing, marked by the move from the horseless carriage to the supercharged Grand Prix racer, from the gentleman driver to the well-publicized professional, and from the dusty road course to the autodrome. This history of the evolution of European and American auto racing from 1900 to 1925 examines transatlantic influences, early dirt track racing, and the birth of the twin-cam engine and the straight-eight. It also explores the origins of the Bennett and Vanderbilt races, the early career of “America’s Speed King” Barney Oldfield, the rise of the speedway specials from Marmon, Mercer, Stutz and Duesenberg, and developments from Peugeot, Delage, Ballot, Fiat, and Bugatti. This informative work provides welcome insight into a defining period in motorsports.
Before the "Big Three," even before the Model T, the race for dominance in the American car market was fierce, fast, and sometimes farcical. Car Crazy takes readers back to the passionate and reckless years of the early automobile era, from 1893, when the first US-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford's Model T went on the market. The motorcar was new, paved roads few, and devotees of this exciting and unregulated technology battled with citizens who considered the car a dangerous scourge, wrought by the wealthy, that was shattering a more peaceful way of life. Among the pioneering competitors were Ransom E. Olds, founder of Olds Motor Works and creator of a new company called REO; Olds' cutthroat new CEO Frederic L. Smith; William C. "Billy" Durant of Buick Motor Company (and soon General Motors); and inventor Henry Ford. They shared a passion for innovation, both mechanical and entrepreneurial, but their maniacal pursuit of market share would also involve legal manipulation, vicious smear campaigns, and zany publicity stunts -- including a wild transcontinental car race that transfixed the public. Their war on wheels ultimately culminated in a courtroom battle that would shape the American car industry forever. Based on extensive original research, Car Crazy is a page-turning story of popular culture, business, and sport at the dawn of the twentieth century, filled with compelling, larger-than-life characters, each an American original.
The automobile has shaped nearly every aspect of modern American life. This text documents the story of the automotive industry, which, despite its power, is constantly struggling to assure its success.
Achieving Sustainable Urban Form represents a major advance in the sustainable development debate. It presents research which defines elements of sustainable urban form - density, size, configuration, detailed design and quality - from macro to micro scale. Case studies from Europe, the USA and Australia are used to illustrate good practice within the fields of planning, urban design and architecture.