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Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do About It Spiral-Bound | March 28, 2023

Daniel Knowles

★★★★☆+ from 101 to 500 ratings

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A high-octane polemic against cars—which are ruining the world, while making us unhappy and unhealthy—from a talented young writer at the Economist.
 
Briskly written, well researched, and with a knack for landing the significant statistic right after the crisply summarized argument.” —The New Yorker
 
The automobile was one of the most miraculous inventions of the 20th century. It promised freedom, style, and utility. But sometimes, rather than improving our lives, technology just makes everything worse. Over the past century, cars have filled the air with toxic pollutants and fueled climate change. Cars have stolen public space and made our cities uglier, dirtier, less useful, and more unequal. Cars have caused tens of millions of deaths and injuries. They have wasted our time and our money.
 
In Carmageddon, journalist Daniel Knowles outlines the rise of the automobile and the costs we all bear as a result. Weaving together history, economics, and reportage, he traces the forces and decisions that normalized cars and cemented our reliance on them. Knowles takes readers around the world to show the ways car use has impacted people’s lives—from Nairobi, where few people own a car but the city is still cloaked in smog, to Houston, where the Katy Freeway has a mind-boggling 26 lanes and there are 30 parking spaces for every resident, enough land to fit Paris ten times. With these negatives, Knowles shows that there are better ways to live, looking at Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Tokyo, and New York City.
 
Publisher: ABRAMS
Original Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1419758802
Item Weight: 0.9 lbs
Dimensions: 6.0 x 1.3 x 9.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 101 to 500 ratings
“A serious diatribe against cars as agents of social oppression, international inequality, and ecological disaster . . . briskly written, well researched, and with a knack for landing the significant statistic right after the crisply summarized argument.”
-New Yorker
Daniel Knowles is the Midwest correspondent for the Economist. Previously he worked as the paper's Mumbai and Nairobi bureau chiefs, as well as a reporter in the Washington, DC, bureau and in London. He has covered stories about everything from the wars in South Sudan and Afghanistan to the drug trade in Colombia to the growing sobriety of modern teenagers in the rich world, but prefers writing about cities, transportation, and social transformation. Knowles studied history and economics at Pembroke College, Oxford University. Carmageddon is his first book. He lives in Chicago.