“This is history of the best sort. Republic of Drivers is brilliant, nuanced, and astonishing—the cross-disciplinary scope of this book is close to incredible. Despite the extraordinary reach of his research and thinking, Seiler wears his learning lightly and is sure to reach a wide audience.”
(James Livingston, Rutgers University )
“Although it’s common to associate American culture with the automobile, Cotten Seiler’s inquiry into the relationship between the pleasures and practices of driving and the character of the modern American citizen-subject is consistently surprising. In addition to being lively, theoretically astute, and extraordinarily well documented, Republic of Drivers provides an utterly convincing account of the relationship between automobility, the economic, social, and cultural conditions that made it possible, and the visions of freedom and agency it promised twentieth-century Americans. This fascinating book should be read by anyone who has ever been captivated by the romance of the road trip or wondered about its significance for American history.”
(Janice A. Radway,�Northwestern University )
“Cotten Seiler’s excellent cultural history of driving operates at the intersection of affect, identity formation, mobility, sovereignty, and the state, with wide-ranging and fascinating results. The best account I have seen of the cultural contradictions of the open road.”
(Eric Lott, University of Virginia )
"Seiler brilliantly illuminates the phenomenon of 'automobility' as key to US society and culture from 1895 to 1961. . . . This is a landmark book."
(Times Higher Education
"Written with grace and authority and finely wrought insight."
(Julia Keller Chicago Tribune
"Seiler’s argument is strong and elegant because it raises a point of wonder: how did a people, so rash and so blunt in many ways, manage to live out their desires in broad daylight to the extent that they did and still do?"
(Andrew O'Hagan London Review of Books
"Republic of Drivers is likely to become compulsory reading for anyone researching automotive history and may well become a major text for American Studies students who are trained to think in interdisciplinary ways."
(Margaret Walsh Reviews in History
About the Author
Cotten Seiler is associate professor of American studies at Dickinson College.