Synopses & Reviews
Asphalt Nation is a powerful examination of how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape over the past 100 years together with a compelling strategy for reversing our automobile dependency. Jane Holtz Kay provides a history of the rapid spread of the automobile and documents the huge subsidies commanded by the highway lobby, to the detriment of once-efficient forms of mass transportation. Demonstrating that there are economic, political, architectural, and personal solutions to the problem, she shows that radical change is entirely possible. This book is essential reading for everyone interested in the history of our relationship with the car, and in the prospect of returning to a world of human mobility.
"Asphalt Nation largely succeeds in proving that it is possible to get where we are going without destroying where we live.... A well-written, even dramatic, volume that may persuade many readers to hop onto the bandwagon."
Kenneth T. Jackson, New York Times Book Review
"Asphalt Nation concludes with a fervent plea for zoning-enforced density, subsidized mass transit, a moratorium on road-building, and higher gas and other car-related taxes to restore pedestrian life to our inner cities."
Ned Cramer, Architecture
"Jane Holtz Kay's book has given us a profound way of seeing the automobile's ruinous impact on American life. Asphalt Nation is terrific."and#151;Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities
About the Author
Jane Holtz Kay is the architecture and planning critic for The Nation and the author of Lost Boston (1980) and Preserving New England (1986).