Electronic book text
March 11, 2014
9781421412986
9781421412979
English
232
71584
8
5
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$29.95 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Hardback
March 20, 2014
9781421412979
English
232
71584
8
5
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.82 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$29.95 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Stealing Cars

Technology and Society from the Model T to the Gran Torino

As early as 1910 Americans recognized that cars were easy to steal and, once stolen, hard to find, especially since cars looked much alike. Model styles and colors eventually changed, but so did the means of making a stolen car disappear. Though changing license plates and serial numbers remain basic procedure, thieves have created highly sophisticated networks to disassemble stolen vehicles, distribute the parts, and/or ship the altered cars out of the country. Stealing cars has become as technologically advanced as the cars themselves.

John A. Heitmann and Rebecca H. Morales’s study of automobile theft and culture examines a wide range of related topics that includes motives and methods, technological deterrents, place and space, institutional responses, international borders, and cultural reflections.

Only recently have scholars begun to move their focus away from the creators and manufacturers of the automobile to its users. Stealing Cars illustrates the power of this approach, as it aims at developing a better understanding of the place of the automobile in the broad texture of American life. There are many who are fascinated by aspects of automobile history, but many more readers enjoy the topic of crime—motives, methods, escaping capture, and of course solving the crime and bringing criminals to justice.

Stealing Cars brings together expertise from the history of technology and cultural history as well as city planning and transborder studies to produce a compelling and detailed work that raises questions concerning American priorities and values. Drawing on sources that include interviews, government documents, patents, sociological and psychological studies, magazines, monographs, scholarly periodicals, film, fiction, and digital gaming, Heitmann and Morales tell a story that highlights both human creativity and some of the paradoxes of American life.

About the Authors

John A. Heitmann is a professor of history at the University of Dayton, Ohio, and former Knapp Chair in the Liberal Arts at the University of San Diego. Rebecca H. Morales holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a former curator at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

Endorsements

Heitmann and Morales are absolutely correct—the history of stealing cars is a theme almost absent from historical works, including works that deal specifically with the automobile in America. This book is an important addition to the literature, and I am impressed by how many sides of the subject the authors examine and by the range of historical materials they have researched and cited.

- Larry D. Lankton, Michigan Technological University

Reviews

This volume tells a social and cultural history of auto theft -- honest -- and it does so remarkably well.

- James Donnelly - Hemmings Motor News

Stealing Cars; Technology & Society from the Model T to the Gran Torino provides a fine study of auto theft and culture, and examines a range of topics to include motives, methods, and more. Studies of transportation issues have typically focused on auto manufacturing history, so it's refreshing to see a treatment that considers users and the automobile's role in American life.

- James A Cox - The Midwest Book Review

Stealing Cars fills a lacuna in the historical literature on the automobile. Thus, this is a thoughtful, useful study.

- Jeffrey S. Adler - Michigan Historical Review

Full of good history and excellent research... Heitmann and Morales mix in just enough psychology, sociology, and talk of morals, sex, and love of speed to make the work educational but not didactic. All auto enthusiasts should get this book. Highly recommended.

- Choice

Heitmann and Morales have added to a better and broader understanding of both crime and the automobile in American life and have pointed to other fruitful avenues for exploration.

- Kathleen Franz - American Historical Review

A well-written and well-conceived introduction to an important aspect of modern automobility. Novices drawn to the topic will disocver many rich investigative opporutnities; more seasoned automotive academics can synthesize these observations into the growing field of "user" studies.

- David Blanke - The Journal of American History

It is easy to recommend this book to readers, from historians and professionals interested in automobile topics to a general audience looking for a good read.

- Technology and Society
Johns Hopkins University Press
From 17

9781421412979 : stealing-cars-heitmann-morales
Hardback
232 Pages
$29.95 USD
9781421412986 : stealing-cars-heitmann-morales
Electronic book text
232 Pages
$29.95 USD

Other Titles in SCIENCE / History

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates
Mar 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Havoc and Reform

James P. Kraft
Feb 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Imagination and Science in Romanticism

Richard C. Sha
Feb 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in History of science

Engineering Rules

JoAnne Yates
Mar 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Havoc and Reform

James P. Kraft
Feb 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Imagination and Science in Romanticism

Richard C. Sha
Feb 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$59.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback