The automobile age has ended, and with it an extraordinary era of social and economic change brought on by the impact of the road and the car. In this sweeping cultural history, James Flink observes that by the early 1970s the automobile had ceased to be a force for change in America. The Automobile Age expands on ideas developed in Flink's previous books, The Car Culture and America Adopts the Automobile, to provide a fascinating and comprehensive account of the automobile industry and its impact on a society.
The Automobile Age is at once a critical survey of the development of automotive technology and the automotive industry and an analysis of the social effects of "automobility" on both workers and consumers. Emphasis is on the United States, the world's foremost automobile culture, with developments in the rest of the world analyzed to illuminate the American experience. Flink notes that although mass personal automobility will remain the dominant mode of transportation for as far into the next century as we can see, the impact of the car and the road on a society and its culture will never be so great as it was in America for the past half century.
A wealth of topics spawned by the world's first automobile culture is covered in this extensive study: the technological evolution of the motor vehicle, focusing on the passenger car; the introduction and refinement of mass-production techniques and their impact on workers and labor-management relations; the developing business organization and marketing strategies-of the industry and the growth of a mass market for cars; the roles played by social and economic conditions - and public-policydecisions - in the creation of today's car culture and the concurrent decline in mass transit; and finally, the transformation of American life by mass personal automobility.
James J. Flink is Professor of Comparative Culture at the University of California, Irvine, and is affiliated with its Institute of Transportation Studies.
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About the Author
James J. Flink is an affiliate of the Institute of Transportation Studies and Professor of Comparative Culture at the University of California, Irvine.
What People are Saying About This
The Automobile Age should be required reading for all students of the automobile industry and its transforming impact on the economy, society, and popular culture of the United States. The book is a virtual encyclopedia of automotive history... Its rich details, comparative insights, persuasive interpretations, and wealth of excellent photographs all combine to make this an essential volume for modern American historians." Ronald Edsforth , Journal of American History