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Comment: SHIPPING UPGRADE. Ex-library copy with stamps, etc., no dust jacket, cover as pictured, tight binding, illustrated, 264 pages; 1994 Routledge; (white and lavender cover with black lettering) hardcover. Ships via USPS Priority Mail, with tracking, and within one business day.
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Auto-Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design Hardcover – November 1, 1994

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`Overall this is a challenging book that tries to set the history of American car design in its political, economic and social setting. The argument is well put, but is perhaps too neat tobe totally convincing; yet it is extremely thought-provoking.' - Business History

`Author David Gartman provides a detailed exploration of the profession and aesthetics of American car design, from the early Ford mass-marketing breakthrough to the niche marketing of today. Full fascinating facts and anecdotes behind the fins, ...' - Creative Review Feb

About the Author

David Gartman is a Professor of Sociology at the University of South Alabama.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415105714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415105712
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,445,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Mccarrier on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book could be a satire of a sociology professor written by the staff of Saturday Night Live.

The author's thesis is that in 1910 the car companies realized that the workers of America needed a distraction to keep them from revolting against the humdrum of working on an assembly line and that carefully styled automobiles would fill that need. He couldn't decide whether he wanted to write good automotive history or good sociological analysis so he compromises and did both poorly. Readers are constantly forced to slog through numerous class warfare tirades to get to the substantive parts of his analysis. The word "Fordism" appears on almost every page.

The author does provide a competent history of automotive styling and make some interesting observations. He notes that compact cars of the early 1960's were popular, not because they were economical, but because they were different. Unfortunately, he does not understand the mechanical side of cars and makes many incorrect statements. The cover art is perfect. It is from an ironic 1958 Buick ad that shows a bulbous and wheel-less car flying past the moon.
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Format: Paperback
Gartman is a Liberal teacher at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, where I went to school. This book is a pro-Socialist diatribe that just happens to use American cars as a back-drop for his political ideas! No matter what your political persuasion is, if you want a book about CARS, that is, a history book on American cars: corporations, designs, mechanical technologies or their contribution to American society, as well as their importance to our culture, then DON'T waste your money on this book! I've been a car guy all of my life. I've owned many cool and classic cars over the years. I've seen the good and the bad of them; I've dealt with old car guys, junkyard owners, millionaries who collect old cars but don't know how to turn a wrench on them, rat rodders, street rodders, the SAE, restorers of original classics (like myself), shade-tree mechanics, new and used car salesmen, car designers, engineers, etc. This book isn't for anyone whose been through or knows about any of those things. It is strictly a Leftist propaganda book . . . and that's all!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the first time I can read a book about cars not founded in trivial matters but in serious investigation
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