Stop Signs is probably the most comprehensive assessment of the power of the automobile I’ve yet read. It’s a history lesson on the car, and its rapid evolution and a field guide to Homo Automotivus. As the subtitle suggests, it focuses on the economic, social and environmental, but also neatly summarises topics like health, psychology, race, advertising and planning. It looks at the environment in which the car has flourished most, the United States, where it dominates the landscape.
All these are contained in the deceptively lightweight format of a whistle stop tour, to borrow a term from an age when the car was not so dominant. The book takes us on a long, tour of major U.S. cities by long distance bus. Thus, the book sounds like a travelogue of the key economic, social and environmental issues around automotivism.