Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PAPERBACKS

July 18, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

HIGHWAYS TO HEAVEN: The AUTO Biography of America by Christopher Finch (Harper Collins: $14; 416 pp.). Finch attempts to trace the technological history of the automobile, the decline and rebirth of public transportation, the evolution of American attitudes about cars, the growth of the interstate highway network and "highway culture" in this ambitious study. The author has assembled a wealth of interesting and sometimes disturbing information (in 1974, standard model American cars averaged less than 12 miles per gallon), but the significant facts are often lost in silly digressions, including an extended effort to compare Jayne Mansfield to a '50s Cadillac. Like driving on the 405 freeway, reading "Highways to Heaven" is less satisfying than it should be.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|