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Globalizing Automobilism: Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980

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Globalizing Automobilism

Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980

Gijs Mom

856 pages, 23 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-461-2 $199.00/£148.00 Hb Not Yet Published (August 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-462-9 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Mom has access to an extraordinarily broad palette of source materials and methods. There is no other monograph in the field of such vast comparative scope.” • Peter Norton, University of Virginia


Why has “car society” proven so durable, even in the face of mounting environmental and economic crises? In this follow-up to his magisterial Atlantic Automobilism, Gijs Mom traces the global spread of the automobile in the postwar era and investigates why adopting more sustainable forms of mobility has proven so difficult. Drawing on archival research as well as wide-ranging forays into popular culture, Mom reveals here the roots of the exuberance, excess, and danger that define modern automotive culture.

Gijs Mom is Associate Professor emeritus at Eindhoven University of Technology. His monograph Atlantic Automobilism: Emergence and Persistence of the Car, 1895–1940, was published by Berghahn Books in 2015. He is a co-editor, with Georgine Clarsen and Mimi Sheller, of the Berghahn Books series “Explorations in Mobility.”

Subject: General Mobility Studies 20th Century History General Cultural Studies


List of Illustrations

Introduction: Questioning the Car: Prolegomena for an Analysis of Global Mobility

Part I. Emergence and Persistence (Again): The Shaping of Mobility Layerdness beyond the West

Chapter 1. Modernizing without Automobilization: Subverting and Subalternizing Mobility History (1890–1945/1950)
     1.1 Imperialist Mobilities: Japan and the Modernization of Manchuria
     1.2 Urban Mobilities: The Rickshaw and the Motorization of Asian Cities
     1.3 Between Long March and Long-Haul: Rail and Road Network Building in China
     1.4 Dual Networks of Rails and Roads: The Modal Configuration in Other Asian Countries
     1.5 Migration, Colonialism and the Struggle between Rail and Road: The Case of Africa
     1.6 More than Modern: Constructing a Latin American Adventure Machine
     1.7 The Rest and the West: Subversive and Subaltern Mobilities?

Part II: Exuberance, with a Twist: Spreading the Gospel of Automobilism

Chapter 2. Fragmenting Automotive Adventure: Western Exuberant Automobilism and Middle-Class Guilt (1945–1973)
     2.1 Introduction: “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan”
     2.2 A Multi-Media Feast: Folk, Beat, Rock and Other Mobilities
     2.3 Motorizing the Worker: Fragmentation and Convergence of Western Car Cultures
     2.4 The Attack on Public Transport: Hegemonic Car Cultures in a Cold War Setting
     2.5 Experiencing the Car in a Fragmented Culture: Shifts in Autopoetic Adventures
     2.6 Songs and Movies: Rejuvenating the Adventure Machine in Popular Culture
     2.7 Flow Interrupted: Crash and the Systemic Aspects of Automobilism

Chapter 3. Layered Development: The Transnational Construction of a World Mobility System (1940s–1970s)
     3.1 Introduction: What is ‘Layered Development’?
     3.2 Alternative Developments: Soviet Mobility and the Modernization of China and India
     3.3 Conceiving ‘Development’: Mobilizing the ‘Rest’
     3.4 Mediating Modernization: Japan and Asian ‘Development’
     3.5 Constructing ‘Circulation’: The IRF and the ‘Development’ of Africa
     3.6 Developmentalism vs. Dependentismo: Latin American Mobilities and the Frustrations of Middle Class Modernity
     3.7  Conclusions: Road, Rail, and Development

Layered, Fragmented, Subversive, Subaltern: Conclusions


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