This brief text examines the central role of the automobile in American life in the late twentieth-century. Synthesizing and discussing the most insightful monographs written about the automobile, Mark Foster provides students with an enlightening history of one of America's most recognizable contributions to industrialized society. This volume is part of the AMERICA SINCE 1945 seriesa collection of brief texts that seek to define the ways in which the United States has changed in the last 50 years.
Foster (history, U. of Colorado at Denver) selectively looks at some of the impacts of the automobile on American culture, expressly setting out only to "provide much of the essential flavor" of the topic. Beginning his story at the close of World War II, when economic realities presaged an explosion in automobile ownership, he explores the automobiles impact on mass transit, the development of the United Auto Workers, the rise of suburbia, auto racing, the car's relationship to youth culture, the growth of the fast food and the motel industries, and the activities of car culture critics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)