By Wolfgang Sachs

In his cultural research of the motor automobile in Germany, Wolfgang Sachs starts off from the belief that the auto is greater than a technique of transportation and that its heritage can't be understood basically as a positive march of technological innovation. as an alternative, Sachs examines the historical past of the vehicle from the past due Eighteen Eighties until eventually this day for facts at the nature of goals and wishes embedded in glossy tradition. Written in a full of life kind and illustrated by way of a wealth of cartoons, ads, newspaper tales, and propaganda, this booklet explores the character of Germany's love affair with the car. A ''history of our desires'' for pace, wealth, violence, glamour, growth, and poweras refracted via photos of the automobileit is right now attention-grabbing and provocative. Sachs recounts the advance of the auto and the effect on German society of the promoting and merchandising of the motor automobile. As automobiles grew to become cheaper and extra universal after global struggle II, advertisers fanned the festival for prestige, refining their strategies as possession grew to become ever extra frequent. Sachs concludes through demonstrating that the triumphal procession of inner most motorization has in truth develop into an intrusion. The grand goals as soon as connected to the car have elderly. Sachs appeals for the cultivation of latest desires born of the futility of the outdated ones, goals of ''a society liberated from progress,'' within which situation, distance, and velocity are reconceived in additional accurately humane dimensions.

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Extra resources for For Love of the Automobile: Looking Back into the History of Our Desires

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The passengers in the automobile, who had been thrown out, lay injured beside the street. One of the ladies lay unconscious for weeks and in April 1912 still had to be pushed in a wheelchair because her foot was completely crushed. The second lady was less seriously injured, but was capable of returning to work only after a year had passed. The male passenger (a chauffeur by trade) suffered severe injury and was incapacitated for a year; in April 1912 he was still walking on crutches. At the ensuing trial, the driver declared himself not guilty.

What the critics of the automobile saw themselves confronted with in the debates of the time could be called the executive syllogism of competition-driven progress: (a) technological development cannot be stopped; (b) escape is not an option, so Germany must take the lead; (c) therefore, we are called upon to support the automobile and its industry with all the means at the state's disposal. In the face of so strong a consciousness of national responsibility, the critics became subdued and saw their questionswhether the automobile was necessary at all, and whether its advantages outweighed its disadvantagesgrow strangely insignificant.

What is characteristic of them is that the force and speed of the automobile are constantly causing especially severe injuries. The following account cites, in the briefest terms conceivable, a number of automobile catastrophes that have occurred in Austria and abroad, respectively sixty and twenty, with few exceptions in the years 1911 and 1912 alone. One dead, two severely injured. On Whitsunday in the afternoon, an automobile being driven by the owner swerved on a curve into the roadside ditch, after it had passed by the market square in Öd "at a high rate of speed," and collided with such force against two pear trees that the driver was thrown backward, fell under the rearing automobile, and lay there severely injured.

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