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’s text 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 and the degradation of the environment. Demonstrating there are economic, political, architectural, and personal solutions to the problems, she shows that radical change is entirely possible. This book is essential reading for everyone interested in the history of the nation and especially our relationship with the car, and in the prospect of returning to a world of human mobility and environmental and urban health.
“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.” – Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities
“Succeeds in proving that it is possible to get where we are going without destroying where we live.” – Kenneth Jackson, The New York Times
“The book belongs in all the schools and in the hands of every beleaguered citizen.” – Ray Bradbury
Published in paperback by the University of California Press, 1998
“Earns a place on the short shelf of indispensable books about the architecture and physical form of Boston.” – Boston Globe.
“An elegant architectural history, excellently illustrated.” – Washington Post
Published in 1980, expanded and updated 1999, Houghton Mifflin.
Sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, 1986.