Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The automobile and the history of America, post-1970 --

This ending quote (p. 473) is from James Flink's seminal article "American Automobile Consciousness" published in the American Quarterly (v.24, October, 1972). It marks the beginning of an extended discussion on this blog.

Automobility has had more important consequences for 20th century American man than even Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier had for our 19th century forebears. Thus the coming of Automobile Consciousness III[ aproximately post-1968/70] marks a significant turning point in American historical development- the end of an era that historians will someday refer to as the age of the automobile. Whether the new era of American historical development that has dawned will be even more an era of the people or become the age of the superstate remains to be seen. Certainly the time has come for concerted, retrospective scholarly inquiry and debate over the details of the American automobile revolution.

So what did happen after 1970 to both America and its automobile industry? Did we gain more freedoms, or have we witnessed the emergence of  a superstate? Did the superstate rise as the automobile industry fell, and are these two phenomena somehow linked? How did we come to accomodate Japanese imports while at the same time not insisting fair trade -- so that American products were not welcome in Japan? With the government bailouts of Chrysler and GM, did the superstate merge with the auto industry?


  1. I admire what you have done here. I love the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that is working for you as well. Do you have any more info on this?Save thousands

  2. Hey I agree. Very good information!! Thanks for sharing this post. I really like this post because this is very very useful for me. Car parts in Manchester