web site hit counter Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back

Availability: Ready to download

Asphalt Nation is a powerful examination of how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape over the past 100 years together with a compelling strategy for reversing our automobile dependency. Jane Holtz Kay provides a history of the rapid spread of the automobile and documents the huge subsidies commanded by the highway lobby, to the detriment of once-effici Asphalt Nation is a powerful examination of how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape over the past 100 years together with a compelling strategy for reversing our automobile dependency. Jane Holtz Kay provides a history of the rapid spread of the automobile and documents the huge subsidies commanded by the highway lobby, to the detriment of once-efficient forms of mass transportation. Demonstrating that there are economic, political, architectural, and personal solutions to the problem, she shows that radical change is entirely possible. This book is essential reading for everyone interested in the history of our relationship with the car, and in the prospect of returning to a world of human mobility.


Compare

Asphalt Nation is a powerful examination of how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape over the past 100 years together with a compelling strategy for reversing our automobile dependency. Jane Holtz Kay provides a history of the rapid spread of the automobile and documents the huge subsidies commanded by the highway lobby, to the detriment of once-effici Asphalt Nation is a powerful examination of how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape over the past 100 years together with a compelling strategy for reversing our automobile dependency. Jane Holtz Kay provides a history of the rapid spread of the automobile and documents the huge subsidies commanded by the highway lobby, to the detriment of once-efficient forms of mass transportation. Demonstrating that there are economic, political, architectural, and personal solutions to the problem, she shows that radical change is entirely possible. This book is essential reading for everyone interested in the history of our relationship with the car, and in the prospect of returning to a world of human mobility.

30 review for Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I read this book when I was a naive urban planning grad student so, of course, I LOVED IT! Now I think it's slightly propaganda-ish, but it's still a damn good book and anyone that thinks the world is way too auto-oriented will appreciate this. Lots of fun facts and a pleasure to read. I read this book when I was a naive urban planning grad student so, of course, I LOVED IT! Now I think it's slightly propaganda-ish, but it's still a damn good book and anyone that thinks the world is way too auto-oriented will appreciate this. Lots of fun facts and a pleasure to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    I started this book enthusiastically but soon lost steam. It's split into three sections. The first diagnoses the problem, the second gives the history behind it, the third offers solutions. It seems like Holtz Kay gives EVERY example she possibly can. The book could have been half its size. That said, it's a huge and fascinating topic - the car-driven (pun) society in which we live and how that is killing: our economy, sense of community, environment, mass transit, beautiful architecture, and i I started this book enthusiastically but soon lost steam. It's split into three sections. The first diagnoses the problem, the second gives the history behind it, the third offers solutions. It seems like Holtz Kay gives EVERY example she possibly can. The book could have been half its size. That said, it's a huge and fascinating topic - the car-driven (pun) society in which we live and how that is killing: our economy, sense of community, environment, mass transit, beautiful architecture, and is helping the trend towards more obesity. Quite a lot. And I agree with her wholeheartedly. I found the history part particularly interesting - how highways are funded, how the New Deal played a role and what that meant to mass transit, and much more. I would recommend skimming the first and third section just to read the second. But there lies the rub...just as I was halfway through the first section - and feeling like I couldn't take another example of which highway destroyed what neighborhood, I tuned into NPR to hear someone talking about how we are so accustomed to getting our information quickly that we've changed our ability to read longer articles, books, etc - to stay focused. So, I became determined to read the WHOLE book. And I did. Phew. The third section was rough at times. It was written in 1996, I think, and is no longer as relevant as it once may have been. I also flat out disagreed with some of her solutions. If you read the book, let's discuss. Otherwise...let's all try to drive less, walk/bike more, promote multi-use zoning and electric (or whatever) cars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Although this book is over 15 years old now, much of it is still relevant. Boston's Big Dig is over, some of the trails, train lines, bikepaths, and Interstates have been widened or lengthened. But the way that many people approach autos has shifted only slightly and only in certain parts of the country. The US is still auto-centric, hard-on-public-transportation country - still happy to call road costs worthwhile and a train subsidy wasteful spending even when the money is coming from the same Although this book is over 15 years old now, much of it is still relevant. Boston's Big Dig is over, some of the trails, train lines, bikepaths, and Interstates have been widened or lengthened. But the way that many people approach autos has shifted only slightly and only in certain parts of the country. The US is still auto-centric, hard-on-public-transportation country - still happy to call road costs worthwhile and a train subsidy wasteful spending even when the money is coming from the same place. I found this very enlightening and helpful in understanding where the US was coming from in its rush for the automobile and all it seemed to stand for, and getting an idea of where we went wrong and where we might think of going next.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    at some points incredibly insightful, at others quite annoying. still worth the read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Anton

    This book has an interesting premise, but not enough of one to take up a whole book. It felt like the author was beating a dead horse most of the time, and each of the chapters should have been condensed down to one page. Add to that her tendency to use $5 words when 5 cent ones would have done just as well (and possibly better), and you get a very tedious read. The return on investment (information received for time spent) was so low that I would not recommend this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Geary

    Low on references, but still a good read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    he United States is in ways a nation without a history. Relatively young, it came of age in the early industrial period, where access to profoundly powerful technologies shaped its growth in a way not seen in Europe or Asia, where new influences worked against what was already there. This is most obviously seen in a comparison of dense, almost compact European cities, and their American counterparts, which sprawl out for mile after dreary mile and -- with some exceptions for cities which date to he United States is in ways a nation without a history. Relatively young, it came of age in the early industrial period, where access to profoundly powerful technologies shaped its growth in a way not seen in Europe or Asia, where new influences worked against what was already there. This is most obviously seen in a comparison of dense, almost compact European cities, and their American counterparts, which sprawl out for mile after dreary mile and -- with some exceptions for cities which date to the 18th century -- often lack a distinctive center. This radically different urban landscape is the mark of the automobile: while Europe's cities were built for people, America's cities and now its sprawl are made for cars. Americans embraced the automobile like no other nation, and now after a century of giving it dominion, are slowly waking up to the price. No green and pleasant land, we are a nation covered in asphalt and mired in traffic. In Asphalt Nation, Jane Holtz Kay examines the consequences of the United States' self-made dependency on the car, explains how it came to be that way, and offers ways for recovering a sensible approach to urbanism. Although some of the costs of the automobile are obvious -- pollution; the economic drain of cars on private households to pay for insurance, maintenance, and gas; and thousands of lives each year -- the greatest harm is more subtle, in deforming the urban landscape. The automobile's effect on American urbanism has been marked by purposeful decentralization and the rise of sprawl, a disaster for the nation. Not only does sprawl create manifestly hideous cityscapes, but it drives cities into bankruptcy as they attempt to cover greater areas with less efficiency. Public transportation becomes especially inefficient. As jobs move away from city centers, those who can't afford transportation to get there are stuck living in areas with few opportunities for work, leading to inner city decay. Once vibrant city centers become home to nothing but poverty and despair. It didn't have to be this way. After cataloguing the damage, Hay launches into a history of American car use and the rise of a "car-ridden" society. Although the automobile matched the United States' strong individualistic tendencies nicely, the success of the automobile is far from a triumph of the free market.Cars and the roads they require have always been heavily subsidized by the government: in the 1930s, building the infrastructure for automobile transportation was seen as a way to put people to work. The car companies themselves were proactive about ensuring their dominance, as General Motors eagerly bought up trolley lines and promptly closed them down, allowing its line of buses to flourish. Holtz's history section can be depressing, as it catalogs the slow decline of American urbanism and the rise of congestion, but it must be read. Every chapter is a lesson in where we went wrong, one that might allow us to find our way back. Interestingly, the rise of the automobile fits into the pattern Neil Postman identified regarding technology; at first, it was merely a tool to be used, then one with a central role in our lives...and now, for Americans, one our society has become fundamentally dependent on. The final chapters devote themselves on recovery. Reining in the automobile will be a difficult task, and may prove to be a long term challenge for the 21st century, just as establishing the car's preeminence marked the 20th. First, we stop the ever-increasing expansion of roads, reexamine zoning policies that encourage sprawl and the destruction of our cities; begin restoring transit like trolleys and trains; begin rolling sprawl back and restoring our urban centers; and finally, begin "depaving America", beginning with the elevated highways that cut cities apart. The car should also be put in its proper place by no longer being so heavily supported by the official policies of the government. There's never been a timelier moment for this book, except for perhaps in the 1970s when the oil crisis offered Americans a chance to reconsider their relationship with the automobile. Today the United States is facing a prolonged recession and a difficult century ahead. The infrastructure required for our asphalt nation is an enormous economic liability, one we would do well to shed ourselves of. Ending sprawl and restoring life to the cities will allow government to function efficiently and restore that sense of community that Robert Putnam mentioned in his Bowling Alone. Asphalt Nation is thorough, its author never shrill. I not only recommend it: I think it a must-read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Omi

    This book, written in 1996, really shows its age. It's packed with a lot of stories but not a lot of sources on the research than on the effect of automobile-ization of America. It's okay to read for someone who lives a vert car-centric life. But I think other books are better. This book, written in 1996, really shows its age. It's packed with a lot of stories but not a lot of sources on the research than on the effect of automobile-ization of America. It's okay to read for someone who lives a vert car-centric life. But I think other books are better.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tannya

    I would actually love to give this book a 3 1/2. It was really interesting. Just reading the description makes you think twice about how much time you spend driving. Ugh. I have this issue with wasting time and so I hate to think about all the time I could be doing something more useful than adding to the environmental pollutants. Jane Holtz Kay has a great writing style so instead of just facts, and or just biased information she adds some great information mixed in with humorous stories. For a I would actually love to give this book a 3 1/2. It was really interesting. Just reading the description makes you think twice about how much time you spend driving. Ugh. I have this issue with wasting time and so I hate to think about all the time I could be doing something more useful than adding to the environmental pollutants. Jane Holtz Kay has a great writing style so instead of just facts, and or just biased information she adds some great information mixed in with humorous stories. For a class text book it was better than most.

  10. 4 out of 5

    lyle

    This book uncovers the ugly side of car culture: Harmful environmental effects, destruction of walkable and bike-friendly communities, high taxes required to maintain the enormous roadway infrastructure, fossil-fuel depletion, thwarting of viable mass-transit alternatives, urban sprawl, injuries and deaths in collisions, etc. It is well written and researched. Car culture is deeply entrenched in the U.S., but Kay offers useful suggestions for beginning the difficult task of undoing it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    I have not finished this yet because the writing leaves a lot to be desired. I still want to read it, though, to get to the parts about how we can take back America. So I finished it and was not impressed. Taking back America had only a point or two of new thoughts- most of the suggestions seem like common sense. However, I think there is some good knowledge to use when composing remarks to political leaders.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Benedict

    America is paying an extremely heavy price today for the all-pervasiveness of a runaway carculture that erupted just a hundred years ago. Real change to create a better, more sustainable way of living and better quality of life HAS TO INCLUDE the TRANSFORMATION of this century aged-behemoth on wheels...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Engesetter

    If you think that a best possible world is possible, you must read this book. I think Americans take cars for granted in much the same way that humans took, say, the horse, for granted for thousands of years. Which is scary, because humans didn't invent the horse. If you're going to read this book, read Erewhon, by Samuel Butler, as well. If you think that a best possible world is possible, you must read this book. I think Americans take cars for granted in much the same way that humans took, say, the horse, for granted for thousands of years. Which is scary, because humans didn't invent the horse. If you're going to read this book, read Erewhon, by Samuel Butler, as well.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joe Sherman

    This another call to blind americans to open their eyes. The book is a bit longer than it needs to be but the message is important. The last 100 years of American history have been one colossal mistake. Start walking and bicycling. Cars are bad. Bad for you and bad for the planet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    James B

    I don't agree with all of the means- but I long for the goal. I think the book would have more of a punch if it was shortened. Quite ironic that I read a good portion of the book while on a 7700 mile drive. I don't agree with all of the means- but I long for the goal. I think the book would have more of a punch if it was shortened. Quite ironic that I read a good portion of the book while on a 7700 mile drive.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Sailor

    cars stink!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Ellis

    This is part of my research reading for my thesis.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    This book can be a bit boring at times, but the information is quite interesting. I believe it goes a long way to explaining just why Oakland is such a crap hole.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Shtinks

    three words: that book was AMAZING!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    The writing was poor, but the content was valuable. The topic of our nation's dependency on the personal automobile is rarely touched upon. The writing was poor, but the content was valuable. The topic of our nation's dependency on the personal automobile is rarely touched upon.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    An exhaustively thorough litany of qualms against the autonomous internal-combustion vehicle and its impact on America. Could have used some editing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    fucking exhaustive

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Good explination on how we have become an auto dependent society

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Scholes

    Interesting history of the building of the roads and transportation that we have in the country today. She decried the demise of mass transit for the use of the car.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shaneeza aziz

    Great read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lidija

    This book is history of how the US became an automobile dependent culture but she insinuates that automobile and oil companies gave people no choice in the matter, which is up for debate.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Very pessimistic view of the effects of the automobile. Well written, though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Ryan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.