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Harless has mined auto literature from the 1960s to the present to reveal granular detail on specific models, while at the same time providing broad perspective on the tectonic shifts in domestic auto making.
He approaches political issues as an auto enthusiast, but instead of being an apologist for industry, he offers principles that embrace market rationality, and enhance the long-term sustainability of cars through rational transportation and energy policy.
Harless re-discovers the principles of "conspicuous waste" and "conspicuous consumption"--phrases coined by economist Thorstein Veblen, author of Theory of the Leisure Class--to unmask the unacknowledged assumptions of both U.S. consumers and automakers.