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Machines of Youth – America's Car Obsession - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Machines of Youth: America's Car Obsession

Gary S. Cross


Machines of Youth traces the rise, and more recently the fall, of car culture among American teens. Cross details how an automobile obsession drove teen peer culture from the 1920s to the 1980s, seducing budding adults with privacy, freedom, mobility, and spontaneity. Cross shows how the automobile redefined relationships between parents and teenage children, becoming a rite of passage, producing new courtship rituals, and fueling the growth of numerous car subcultures. Yet for teenagers today the lure of the automobile as a transition to adulthood is in decline.Tinkerers are now sidelined by ... More

Keywords: car, automobile, car culture, obsession, freedom, teenagers, decline, cruising, driving, youth

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226341644
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226341781.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gary S. Cross, author
Pennsylvania State University