By Tom McCarthy

ISBN-10: 0300158483

ISBN-13: 9780300158489

The twentieth-century American adventure with the car has a lot to inform us in regards to the dating among purchaser capitalism and the surroundings, Tom McCarthy contends. In Auto Mania he provides the 1st environmental background of the auto that exhibits how customer hope (and producer judgements) created affects around the product lifecycle—from uncooked fabric extraction to production to purchaser use to disposal.


From the provocative public antics of younger millionaires who owned the 1st vehicles early within the 20th century to the SUV craze of the Nineteen Nineties, Auto Mania explores advancements that touched the surroundings. alongside the way in which McCarthy examines how Henry Ford’s fetish for waste aid tempered the environmental affects of version T mass construction; how Elvis Presley’s broadly shared postwar hope for Cadillacs made concerns worse; how the Nineteen Seventies power challenge harm small autos; and why child boomers missed concerns approximately worldwide warming.


McCarthy indicates that difficulties have been famous early. the trouble used to be addressing them, an issue much less of doing medical examine and instructing the general public than imposing options via America’s industry economic system and democratic executive. client and manufacturer pursuits have hardly aligned in priceless methods, and automakers and shoppers have made strong competitors of law. the end result has been a combined checklist of environmental reform with troubling customers for the future.

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Additional info for Auto Mania: Cars, Consumers, and the Environment

Sample text

Shared ex­ asperations like hand-cranking the car on a cold morning worked against snob­ bery or one-upmanship and created a democratic camaraderie. "Every Model T owner," Floyd Clymer remembered, " . . was a disgruntled grouch with a thou­ sand complaints. " Model T jokes were part of this lore and of the same flavor as the complaints.

Before World War I, most people could not afford an automobile, certainly not one with the power to turn heads the way their own heads had been turned. The inescapably public nature of automobile use meant that those who did not possess one instantly suffered public loss of face and status. Intentionally as well as unintentionally, the wealthy flaunted their possession of the automobile in a manner that made it one of the greatest class provocations in American history. The speeding sportsmen also used the automobile to assert a hypermasculinity that accentuated the gender anxieties of middle- and upper-middle-class men already gripped with worry about their masculinity.

P. " The less sanguine, including engineers like Albert Clough, focused on possible solutions. " 2 Gasoline is a petroleum derivative. It is not a single substance but a mixture of the lighter hydrocarbon compounds separated from the heavier substances in Foresight and Emotion p etroleum by the process of fractional distillation - by heating the petroleum and allowing the lighter compounds to rise to the top of the heated mixture before drawing them off. These lighter hydrocarbons constituted between 10 p ercent and 20 percent of a barrel of crude oil, depending on the oil's source.

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Auto Mania: Cars, Consumers, and the Environment by Tom McCarthy

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