Mobility Without Mayhem

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Mobility Without Mayhem

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Is the ‘freedom of the road’ simply a charade to help wicked government and capitalist stakeholders collude to pacify us, the motoring peasantry? Huh? WTF? Here, an intellectual college professor starts with the late French social theorist Jean Baudrillard’s claim that, “All you need to know about American society can be gleaned from an anthropology of its driving behavior…. Drive ten thousand miles across America and you will know more about the country than all the institutes of sociology and political science put together.” All righty then, a skeptic might say. Can such bold assertions be even slightly right? Professor Packer directs our attention to the laws, technologies and cultural tropes that have been used to regulate our automobility to search for the answers. His accounting of some of our most recognizable moto-stereotypes provides a uniquely reasoned look at today’s supposedly pacified America, where individualism has been co-opted and co-modified though we don’t even know it yet. Uh, Hello…McFly? Hello…? By Jeremy Packer. Softbound, 6"×9", 349 pp., no illus.