Higher Education

A Nation on Wheels: The Automobile Culture in America Since 1945, 1st Edition

  • Mark S. Foster University of Colorado, Denver
  • ISBN-10: 015507542X  |  ISBN-13: 9780155075429
  • 224 Pages
  • © 2003 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $74.25 List Price = $ 98.95



This brief text examines the central role of the automobile in American life in the late twentieth-century. Synthesizing and discussing the most insightful monographs written about the automobile, Mark Foster provides students with an enlightening history of one of America's most recognizable contributions to industrialized society. This volume is part of the AMERICA SINCE 1945 series--a collection of brief texts that seek to define the ways in which the United States has changed in the last 50 years.

Table of Contents

1. Setting the Stage.
2. A Laborious Reconversion.
3. The Automobile, Suburbia, and the Reshaping of the American Landscape.
4. The Fabulous Fifties and Soaring Sixties.
5. The Automobile, Mass Transit, and Public Policy.
6. The Automobile Culture Under Siege.
7. The Automobile Industry Under Siege.
8.A Remarkable Revival.
9. The Future of the Automobile.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I like the manuscript, and I plan to assign it. ... This manuscript is generally interesting and pretty consistently well written. ... Foster’s A NATION ON WHEELS will prove an important addition to the literature on postwar America and an equally important addition to our understanding of the car culture."

— Mark H. Rose, Florida Atlantic University

"I’m happy to report that I like his book very much. ... Foster’s work is thorough, full of good information, and smoothly and invitingly written. He places America’s recent automobile culture in illuminating social, economic, environmental, and psychological contexts. Foster flat out knows how to write, making good use of anecdotes, humor, and strong verbs and adjectives. And he has an eye for telling quotes. ... this is a fine manuscript, worth of publication pretty much as is."

— Richard Etulain, University of New Mexico

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Mark S. Foster

Mark Foster received his B.A. at Brown University in 1961 and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1971. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Teacher of the Year at the University of Colorado at Denver in 1983 and Researcher of the Year at the University of Colorado at Denver in 2001. His nine published books include FROM STREETCAR TO SUPERHIGHWAY: AMERICAN CITY PLANNERS AND URBAN TRANSPORTATION, 1900-1940 (Temple University Press); HENRY J. KAISER: BUILDER IN THE MODERN AMERICAN WEST (University of Texas Press); HENRY M. PORTER: ROCKY MOUNTAIN EMPIRE BUILDER (University Press of Colorado); and CASTLES IN THE SAND: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CARL G. FISHER (University Press of Florida). He has also written three books about the history of baseball in Colorado.