Like its predecessors (American Cars, 1946-1959, 2008; American Cars, 1960-1972, CH, Apr'05, 42-4376), this volume by car enthusiast Flory is arranged by year. It supplies an introduction at the beginning of each year summarizing the model year and production numbers for each manufacturer. A short overview is followed by statistics for each manufacturer, including model year production, domestic market share, manufacturer/industry average and base price ranges, introduction date, assembly plants, and analysis of the vehicle identification plate. Also presented are power trains; major options; paint colors for the manufacturer; and for each model, the year of origin, body style lifespan, predecessor/replacement, percentage of the division's sales volume, corporate siblings, primary competition, changes from the previous year, and major standard equipment. A detailed introduction explains what was happening with the automobile industry during this time period; included in the discussion are inflation, gas shortages, governmental regulations, and environmental concerns. Small black-and-white photos remind readers what a particular car looked like. The appendixes include information on minor makes and "replicars," a history of captive imports, pace cars, "Car of the Year" winners, option groups/packages, plus a variety of other interesting information. The index is only by manufacturer; indexing individual models would have been useful. This is a good resource for enthusiasts of American automobiles. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
Outstanding Academic Title
In this book's introduction, Heitmann (history, Univ. of Dayton) discusses writing a work to supplant James Flink's Automobile Age (5th ed., 1998) and questions if it is possible. This reviewer thinks he has succeeded in creating such a book. Heitmann addresses over 100 years of the automobile, including all that it influenced and vice versa. This monumental task is accomplished in 210 pages with roughly two-thirds devoted to the pre-1950 automobile and the America to which it belonged. Ten chapters are further subdivided to allow the reader to access specific content. The index is excellent and really fun to read on its own, with an interesting cast of characters such as Luke Doolin, Julius Erving, S. I. Hayakawa, and Ike Turner, to name a few. The prose is almost flawless, and the writing never feels beleaguered; it is almost like the author enjoyed every topic and every page. The book's only drawback is that there are too few photographs for such a visual topic. The Automobile and American Life would be this reviewer's choice for a resource for his course dealing with the automobile and American culture. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
This wonderful book was originally published in Portuguese in 2004 and in Spanish in 2007. The University of Texas Press has done everyone interested in the automobile and culture a huge favor by finally publishing the book in English. Giucci (Rio de Janeiro State Univ., Brazil) covers every aspect of the subject--art, consumerism, manufacturing, advertising, poetry and prose, history, and daily life--in a scholarly yet approachable manner. This is an outstanding resource in a subject area that all too often centers on North America. The opening two chapters remind readers that Henry Ford was amazingly international; for example, a new 1919 Ford purchased in São Paulo was manufactured there, not imported from Detroit. Argentina embarked on a plan to modernize the nation in the 1930s with a broad highway development program. The index entries give some insight into the pleasures within the text, e.g., Francis Bacon and Jorge Luis Borges, Armando Discépolo and Oliver Hardy, Citroën and Chevrolet, and on and on. This should be a required text for an automobile and culture class; the prose, style, and content are first class. More pictures, in color of course, would be helpful, but that is the only criticism of this excellent work. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.
This book by Khajepour and Goodarzi (both, Univ. of Waterloo, Canada) and Fallah (Univ. of Surrey, UK) provides unique coverage of the burgeoning field of electric hybrid vehicles. It offers the best overview of the field to date, effectively integrating mechanical engineering and electrical engineering perspectives. The strength of the book is its coverage of modeling of complex dynamic and control phenomena, including propulsion, braking, handling, and power management. Each of the nine chapters contains an introduction, a summary, problems, and references. Chapter titles include "Introduction of Vehicle Propulsion and Powertrain Technologies," "Body and Chassis Technologies and Design," "Handling Analysis of Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles," "Energy/Power Allocation and Management," and "Control of Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Dynamics." The authors describe many vehicle design configurations and provide sufficient detail to facilitate the reader's understanding of technical discussions. The book also introduces important problems and presents useful modeling techniques. The coverage is up-to-date. This is a valuable resource for libraries serving upper-level undergraduate engineering students and practicing professionals in automotive-related industries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above.
This book is geared to both upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in mechanical engineering or engineering mechanics. It would be especially interesting to students who intend to pursue careers in the automotive industry as well as students who are participating in Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) vehicle competitions, like Mini Baja or Formula SAE. Jazar (RMIT Univ., Australia) begins the work with a chapter on vehicle wheels. The book's remaining 14 chapters are divided into four parts: "Vehicle Motion," "Vehicle Kinematics," "Vehicle Dynamics," and "Vehicle Vibration." The book is well illustrated, and color is frequently used to improve clarity. Also noteworthy is the depth of coverage in so many areas. Overall, this work is one of the most well-organized and best presentations of this type of material that this reviewer has seen. The new edition (1st ed., CH, Aug'08, 45-6811) is a useful acquisition for libraries serving students in vehicle dynamics programs and libraries serving professionals in the field; it will be particularly valuable for libraries that do not own the original edition. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.