Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road
- RRP: $61.50
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An instant classic from the author of the landmark Shop Class as Soulcraft, a brilliant, first-of-its-kind celebration of driving, viewing the open road as a unique pathway of human freedom, one now critically threatened by automation. As we become ever more pacified in so many d...omains of life, I want to explore this one domain of skill and freedom--driving--before it is too late, and make a case for defending it. Once we were drivers, the road alive with autonomy, possibility, danger, trust, and speed. Today we are as likely to be in the back seat of an Uber as behind the wheel ourselves. Tech giants are hurling us toward a shiny, happy self-driving future, selling utopia but equally keen to advertise to a captive audience entranced by another expensive device. Are we destined, then, to become passengers, not drivers? Considering congestion, traffic fatalities, and global warming, what is so great about driving anyway? Why We Drive reveals that much more may be at stake than we might think. Ten years ago, in the New York Times-bestselling Shop Class as Soulcraft, philosopher-mechanic Matthew B. Crawford--a University of Chicago PhD who owned his own motorcycle shop--made a revolutionary case for manual labor, one that ran headlong against the pretentions of white-collar office work. Now, using driving as a window through which to critique the broader changes wrought by technology on all aspects of contemporary life, Crawford investigates the driver's seat as one of the few remaining domains of self-reliance, mastery, attention, exploration, play--and freedom. Blending philosophy and hands-on storytelling, Crawford grounds the narrative in his own experience in the garage and behind the wheel, recounting his experience restoring a vintage Volkswagen from the ground up, as well as his journeys to thriving automotive subcultures across the country.