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  1. 11.3 hrs • 4/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of Garbology explores the hidden and costly wonders of our buy-it-now, get-it-today world of transportation, revealing the surprising truths, mounting challenges, and logistical magic behind every trip we take and every click we make. Transportation dominates our daily existence. Thousands, even millions, of miles are embedded in everything we do and touch. We live in a door-to-door universe that works so well most Americans are scarcely aware of it. The grand ballet in which we move ourselves and our stuff is equivalent to building the Great Pyramid, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building all in a day. Every day. And yet, in the one highly visible part of the transportation world—the part we drive—we suffer grinding commutes, a violent death every fifteen minutes, a dire injury every twelve seconds, and crumbling infrastructure. Now the way we move ourselves and our stuff is on the brink of great change, as a new mobility revolution upends the car culture that, for better and worse, built modern America. This unfolding revolution will disrupt lives and global trade, transforming our commutes, our vehicles, our cities, our jobs, and every aspect of culture, commerce, and the environment. We are, quite literally, at a fork in the road, though whether it will lead us to Carmageddon or Carmaheaven has yet to be determined. Using interviews, data, and deep exploration of the hidden world of ports, traffic control centers, and the research labs defining our transportation future, acclaimed journalist Edward Humes breaks down the complex movements of humans, goods, and machines as never before, from increasingly car-less citizens to the distance UPS goes to deliver a leopard-printed phone case. Tracking one day in the life of his family in Southern California, Humes uses their commutes, traffic jams, grocery stops, and online shopping excursions as a springboard to explore the paradoxes and challenges inherent in our system. He ultimately makes clear that transportation is one of the few big things we can change—our personal choices do have a profound impact, and that fork in the road is coming up fast. Door to Door is a fascinating detective story, investigating the worldwide cast of supporting characters and technologies that have enabled us to move from here to there—past, present, and future.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD
    Door to Door by Edward Humes

    Door to Door

    11.3 hrs • 4/12/16 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD
  2. 11.3 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    In Car Crazy, G. Wayne Miller, author of Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them and Men and Speed: A Wild Ride through NASCAR’s Breakout Season, takes listeners back to the wild and wooly years of the early automobile era-from 1893, when the first US-built auto was introduced, through 1908, when General Motors was founded and Ford’s Model T went on the market. The motorcar was new, paved roads few, and devotees of this exciting and unregulated technology battled with citizens who thought the car a dangerous scourge of the wealthy which was shattering a more peaceful way of life. As the machine transformed American culture for better and worse, early corporate battles for survival and market share transform the economic landscape. Among the pioneering competitors are: Ransom E. Olds, founder of Olds Motor Works, inventor of the assembly line (Henry Ford copied him), and creator of a new company called REO; Frederic L Smith, cutthroat businessman who became CEO of Olds Motor Works after Olds was ousted in a corporate power play; William C. “Billy” Durant of Buick Motor Company (who would soon create General Motors), and genius inventor Henry Ford. The fiercest fight pits Henry Ford against Frederic Smith of Olds. Olds was the early winner in the race for dominance, but now the Olds empire is in trouble, its once-industry leading market share shrinking, its cash dwindling. Ford is just revving up. But this is Ford’s third attempt at a successful auto company—and if this one fails, quite possibly his last. So Smith fights Ford with the weapons he knows best: lawyers, blackmail, intimidation, and a vicious advertising smear campaign that ultimately backfires. Increasingly desperate, in need of dazzling PR that will help lure customers to his showrooms, Smith stages the most outrageous stunt of the era: the first car race across the continental United States, with two of his Olds cars. The race pits the dashing writer Percy Megargel, a wealthy New Yorker, against everyman mechanic Dwight B. Huss, a sturdy Midwesterner-men who share a passion for adventure and the new machine. Covered breathlessly by the press and witnessed by thousands in the communities they pass through, Megargel and Huss encounter marvel, mishap, conflict, and danger on their wild 3,500-mile race from Manhattan to Portland, Oregon, most of it through regions lacking paved roads-or any roads at all … Meanwhile, the Ford/Smith battle develops in the newspapers and courtroom dramas. Its outcome will shape the American car industry for a century to come. Car Crazy is an exciting story of popular culture, business, and sport at the dawn of the twentieth century, filled with compelling, larger-than-life characters, each an American original.

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    Car Crazy

    11.3 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.9 hrs • 3/8/2010 • Unabridged

    Six months after its American introduction in 1985, the Yugo was a punch line; within a year, it was a staple of late-night comedy. By 2000, NPR’s Car Talk declared it “the worst car of the millennium.” And for most Americans that’s where the story begins and ends. Hardly. The short, unhappy life of the car, the men who built it, the men who imported it, and the decade that embraced and discarded it is rollicking and astounding, and it is one of the greatest untold business-cum-morality tales of the 1980s. Mix one rabid entrepreneur, several thousand “good” communists, a willing US State Department, the shortsighted Detroit auto industry, and improvident bankers, shake vigorously, and you’ve got The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History. Brilliantly re-creating the amazing confluence of events that produced the Yugo, Yugoslav expert Jason Vuic uproariously tells the story of the car that became an international joke: the American CEO who happens upon a Yugo right when his company needs to find a new import or go under, a State Department eager to aid Yugoslavia’s nonaligned communist government, Zastava Automobiles, which overhauls its factory to produce an American-ready Yugo in six months, and a hole left by Detroit in the cheap subcompact market that creates a race to the bottom that leaves the Yugo … at the bottom.

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    The Yugo

    8.9 hrs • 3/8/10 • Unabridged
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  4. 3.2 hrs • 7/1/2003 • Unabridged

    The companion volume to the PBS documentary film about the first—and perhaps most astonishing—automobile trip across the United States. In 1903 there were only 150 miles of paved roads in the entire nation and most people had never seen a “horseless buggy”—but that did not stop Horatio Nelson Jackson, a thirty-one-year-old Vermont doctor, who impulsively bet fifty dollars that he could drive his twenty-horsepower automobile from San Francisco to New York City. Here—in Jackson’s own words and photographs—is a glorious account of that months-long, problem-beset, thrilling-to-the-rattled-bones trip with his mechanic, Sewall Crocker, and a bulldog named Bud. Jackson’s previously unpublished letters to his wife, brimming with optimism against all odds, describe in vivid detail every detour, every flat tire, every adventure good and bad. And his nearly one hundred photographs show a country still settled mainly in small towns, where life moved no faster than the horse-drawn carriage and where the arrival of Jackson’s open-air (roofless and windowless) Winton would cause delirious excitement. Jackson was possessed of a deep thirst for adventure, and his remarkable story chronicles the very beginning of the restless road trips that soon became a way of life in America. Horatio’s Drive is the first chapter in our nation’s great romance with the road.

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    Horatio's Drive

    3.2 hrs • 7/1/03 • Unabridged
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