Asphalt Nation by Jane Holtz Kay
How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back

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Synopsis

Asphalt Nation is a major work of urban studies that examines how the automobile has ravaged America’s cities and landscape, and how we can fight back.
 
The automobile was once seen as a boon to American life, eradicating the pollution caused by horses and granting citizens new levels of personal freedom and mobility. But it was not long before the servant became the master—public spaces were designed to accommodate the automobile at the expense of the pedestrian, mass transportation was neglected, and the poor, unable to afford cars, saw their access to jobs and amenities worsen. Now even drivers themselves suffer, as cars choke the highways and pollution and congestion have replaced the fresh air of the open road.
 
Today our world revolves around the car—as a nation, we spend eight billion hours a year stuck in traffic. In Asphalt Nation, Jane Holtz Kay effectively calls for a revolution to reverse our automobile-dependency. Citing successful efforts in places from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, Kay shows us that radical change is not impossible by any means. She demonstrates that there are economic, political, architectural, and personal solutions that can steer us out of the mess. Asphalt Nation 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.
 

About Jane Holtz Kay

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Jane Holtz Kay is the architecture and planning critic for "The Nation".
 
Published June 20, 2012 by Crown. 434 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Business & Economics, History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Asphalt Nation

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 A committed, soft-spoken diatribe against the car culture that romanticizes the alternatives, by the architecture critic for the Nation.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Asphalt Nation: How the Autom...

Publishers Weekly

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Kay, architecture critic for the Nation, argues forcefully here that the automobile holds America in economic, emotional and physical gridlock. The car--and the highways it rides on and the gasoline i

Mar 31 1997 | Read Full Review of Asphalt Nation: How the Autom...

Publishers Weekly

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Kay, architecture critic for the Nation, argues forcefully here that the automobile holds America in economic, emotional and physical gridlock. The car--and the highways it rides on and the gasoline i

Mar 31 1997 | Read Full Review of Asphalt Nation: How the Autom...

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