The car was the ticket to freedom in the 20th century, transforming America as millions flocked to the suburbs and needed a vehicle to shuttle them to work, school and everything in between. America—Detroit in particular—regarded its cars as an extension and reflection of itself.
But as the country has proved time and again, Americans can change their habits in what seems like the blink of an eye. In the wake of a disastrous recession and the advent of the mobile Web, people are reconsidering how and where they want to live. A car-free life once seemed ludicrous if you didn’t live in one of the country’s biggest metropolises, but a movement is brewing among cyclists, public transportation devotees and auto upstarts like Tesla and Uber. They are declaring their independence from the automobile industry, and their ranks are growing with converts who want to revolutionize transportation in America once again.
About the Author
Micheline Maynard is a Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University. She is the founder and editor of the Curbing Cars journalism project. She is the former Detroit bureau chief and a senior business correspondent for the New York Times. Her four other books include The End of Detroit: How The Big Three Lost Their Grip On The American Car Market.