Paper $32.50 ISBN: 9780226551135 Published May 2018
Cloth $97.50 ISBN: 9780226341644 Published May 2018
E-book $10.00 to $32.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226341781 Published May 2018 Also Available From
E-book Retailers: Apple iBooks B&N Nook Google Play Kobo Library Vendors: EBSCO

Machines of Youth

America’s Car Obsession

Gary S. Cross

Machines of Youth

Gary S. Cross

256 pages | 28 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $32.50 ISBN: 9780226551135 Published May 2018
Cloth $97.50 ISBN: 9780226341644 Published May 2018
E-book $10.00 to $32.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226341781 Published May 2018
For American teenagers, getting a driver’s license has long been a watershed moment, separating teens from their childish pasts as they accelerate toward the sweet, sweet freedom of their futures. With driver’s license in hand, teens are on the road to buying and driving(and maybe even crashing) their first car, a machine which is home to many a teenage ritual—being picked up for a first date, “parking” at a scenic overlook, or blasting the radio with a gaggle of friends in tow. So important is this car ride into adulthood that automobile culture has become a stand-in, a shortcut to what millions of Americans remember about their coming of age.

Machines of Youth traces the rise, and more recently the fall, of car culture among American teens. In this book, Gary S. Cross details how an automobile obsession drove teen peer culture from the 1920s to the 1980s, seducing budding adults with privacy, freedom, mobility, and spontaneity.   Cross shows how the automobile redefined relationships between parents and teenage children, becoming a rite of passage, producing new courtship rituals, and fueling the growth of numerous car subcultures. Yet for teenagers today the lure of the automobile as a transition to adulthood is in decline.Tinkerers are now sidelined by the advent of digital engine technology and premolded body construction, while the attention of teenagers has been captured by iPhones, video games, and other digital technology. And adults have become less tolerant of teens on the road, restricting both cruising and access to drivers’ licenses. 

Cars are certainly not going out of style, Cross acknowledges, but how upcoming generations use them may be changing. He finds that while vibrant enthusiasm for them lives on, cars may no longer be at the center of how American youth define themselves. But, for generations of Americans, the modern teen experience was inextricably linked to this particularly American icon.
 
Contents
1          First in America: Coming of Age in Automobiles
2          Customizing and Souping-Up in the 1930s and 40s
3          Hot Rod Wars: Youth, Their Elders, and Defining Maturity on the Road
4          Cruising and Parking: The Peer Culture of Teen Automobility, 1950–70
5          Greasers and Their Rods: Two Generations of Exclusion and Pride
6          Low, Slow, and Latino
7          Last Stand of the Cruiser
8          The Slow and Nostalgic versus the Fast and the Furious
9          The End of Youth Car Culture?

Notes
Index
Review Quotes
Times Higher Education
The 1930s through the 1980s represented a “golden age of American teen car culture”. . .Machines of Youth  recreates this fascinating but largely neglected slice of social history.”
Peter Stearns, Geore Mason University
“Machines of Youth traces the rise and fall of the car culture among American teens from its origins in the 1920s and 30s to its decline and virtual disappearance. This very readable book rests on wide-ranging scholarship, including an impressive and persuasive variety of primary sources and interviews. Gary S. Cross is always an interesting scholar and this will be one of his most stimulating contributions.”
David Farber, University of Kansas
“Cross has crafted an evocative, well researched, and engagingly written account of the relationship young people had with the automobile in the decades after World War II.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Blog: Economics

Events in Economics

Keep Informed

JOURNALs