This is the story of how the automobile changed the essence of life in America. Both a general history of the automobile and a broad-ranging analysis of its cultural effects, the text addresses such topics as cars' inception as a mechanical curiosity and later a plaything for the well-to-do; Henry Ford and the rise of the machine age; competition and the evolving consumer in the 1920s; the development of roads and the accompanying road culture; religion, gender, courtship and sex; effects of the Great Depression and World War II; the 1950s golden age of automobiles and the emergence of youth culture; and how American car culture has been represented in film, song, poetry and literature.
Copyright © 2009, John Heitmann, from The Automobile and American Life. Chapter is provided by permission of McFarland & Co., Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640. www.mcfarlandpub.com
McFarland & Co.
Heitmann, John Alfred, "The Automobile and American Life" (2009). History Faculty Publications. 97.