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The reach of the car today is almost universal, and its effect on landscapes, cityscapes, cultures a€“ indeed, on the very fabric of the modern world a€“ is profound. Cars have brought benefits to individuals in terms of mobility and expanded horizons, but the cost has been very high in terms of damage to the environment and the consumption of precious resources. Despite the growing belief that a Faustian price is now being paid for the freedom cars have bestowed on us, we are none the less manufacturing them in ever greater numbers. Autopia is the first book to explore the culture of the motor car in the widest possible sense. Featuring newly commissioned essays by writers, critics, historians, artists and film-makers, as well as reprinting key texts, it examines the effect of the car throughout the world, including the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, China, Cuba, India and South Africa. In this book the car is treated neither as a technological fetish object nor as an instrument of danger. Instead, it is examined as a hugely important determinant of 20th-century culture, neither wholly good nor an unmitigated disaster, and certainly endlessly fascinating. Contributors include Michael Bracewell, Ziauddin Sardar, Al Rees, Martin Pawley, Donald Richie and Peter Hamilton. Key texts by Marshall Berman, Jane Jacobs, Roland Barthes, Marc AugAc and others.He washes her every couple of days; strokes her body with circular motions, waxing sponge in hand; buys her new wheel caps, new seat covers, an almost new radio. ... as is this whole Romance country, where most women make use of their driving licences on very rare occasions, such ... mingle in hectic traffic with the state-of-the-art Ford Focus, Toyota Yaris or the ever more popular Renault Megane.

Author:Peter Wollen, Joe Kerr
Publisher:Reaktion Books - 2002


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