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Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives
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Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  59 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Carjacked is an in-depth look at our obsession with cars. While the automobile's contribution to global warming and the effects of volatile gas prices is widely known, the problems we face every day because of our cars are much more widespread and yet much less known -- from the surprising $14,000 that the average family pays each year for the vehicles it owns, to the incr ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2010)
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Mar 13, 2011 Minli rated it really liked it
The best book I read this week was the non-fiction book, Carjacked. Having been a fan of Catherine Lutz’s academic works, I found Carjacked to be an interesting and successful collaboration with her sister, Anne Lutz Fernandez. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t imagine a better platform to write about America’s entrenched love affair with car culture than an anthropologist and a former corporate executive.

I’ll be upfront: my reading Carjacked was like preaching to the choir. I’ve been telling my f
Sep 11, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: car owners, car dreamers
Shelves: 2010, thesis
This book is more of a 3.5/5 star read. Not quite a four, but really above average. I purchased this book after going to a talk by the authors. They made a convincing case for their argument that North American car culture needs to be reformed. I think that the most interesting part of this book, the part that really made me analyze my own values, was the discussion of advertising and cars as a status symbol. Though I drive a late '90s model Toyota Tercel that doesn't even have power windows (an ...more
Jun 16, 2010 Ed rated it liked it
As one who found his or her wheels relatively late in the game I was pleased to see a book that would DARE to critique our car culture. Often paid lip service to...waste of gas, too lazy to walk, three car household...yeah, it's a necessary tool is someways, but it also makes tools of some of us because we have lost touch with our sole meeting the pavement on a spring day. Do we need a car? Check your VIN number at the door, flick through the Dewey Decimation System, and put the pedal to the met ...more
Julia Flath
Aug 20, 2014 Julia Flath rated it liked it
cars are dangerous and terrible and no one ever thinks about it but this book does
Betsy McGee
Ok, so this is an interesting book. Interesting,, no...well, at least not for me.

While I will say that this book takes a (figurative and literally) heavy topic and makes it approachable, this just wasn't a book I enjoyed. There are some great points, but for me, personally, nothing was is far too general for that. That being said, this could be a great book for book clubs or beginning environmentalists/social activists to jump start their dialogue.
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it liked it
This book is about the automobile and how it has shaped American culture and society. Of course, nothing it says about cars is positive. Cars affect our health, social life, economy, etc., all in a negative way. The authors send special venom towards the auto industry, which sells cars with marketing that masks all the bad things that they do. It makes me want to sell my car and move to a city where I can live without one.
Sep 08, 2010 Hardeep rated it liked it
Sorta timely read... Been considering trading in Manpreets VW Passat for a small diesel. But author argues that since over 50% of emissions/pollutants from a car are from the manufacturing process, keeping the older car is better!!! Had no idea? Quite an interesting book.
Aug 16, 2010 Brian rated it it was amazing
Goes into detail on every facet of the automobile's effect upon the American lifestyle and how it developed the standing it has. Economics, politics, health, all are touched upon and give an excellent breakdown.
Apr 02, 2010 Libby rated it really liked it
Shelves: policy
Seriously useful reading for anyone who owns a car, drives a car, or occasionally gets in a car.
Nov 14, 2011 Andrew rated it did not like it
interesting concept and thesis but reads like an 11th grade essay.
Sep 23, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
An illuminating look at how cars affect society.
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