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Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless

Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless

by Dan Albert


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“[Dan Albert] has a way of bringing automotive history to life.” —Jason Fogelson, Forbes

The plain, old-fashioned, human-driven car built the American economy and helped shape our democratic creed. Driver’s ed made teenagers into citizens; auto repair made boys into men. For nearly a century, car culture has triumphed. But have we finally reached the end of the road? Fewer young people are learning to drive. Ride hailing is replacing car buying, and with electrification, a long and noble tradition of amateur car repair will soon come to an end.

When a robot takes over the driver’s seat, what’s to become of us? Are We There Yet? carries us from horseless buggies to superhighways, and like any good road trip, it’s an adventure so fun you won’t even notice how much you’ve learned along the way.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393358476
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/17/2020
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 729,000
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dan Albert holds a PhD in history from the University of Michigan. He writes about the past, present, and future of cars for n + 1 magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Nation of Drivers 1

Part 1

1 The First Revolution: Let's Review 15

2 The Car for People Who Have None 34

3 GM's Sloan: We're Not in Kansas Anymore 57

4 Automotive Anxiety During the Great Depression 79

5 The Hidden History of the Superhighways That Transformed America 98

Part 2

6 Midcentury Flying Cars 113

7 Foreign Invaders from Sputnik to the Bug 134

8 The Automotive Womb 157

9 The Energy Crisis Ends the Aquarian Age 176

10 Bands of Citizens Take On Dicky, Jerry, and Jimmy 197

11 The Un-Cars That Nobody Loved 217

Part 3

12 Future Visions of Robot Cars 243

13 Think of the Lives We'll Save: The Rhetorics of Robot Cars 262

14 My Car Has Left for College 281

15 Kids Today 303

Conclusion: Carpeted Highways and Big Yellow Birds 325

Acknowledgments 331

Notes 333

Illustration Credits 367

Index 369

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