WHERE THE ROAD AND THE SKY COLLIDE by K. T. Berger

WHERE THE ROAD AND THE SKY COLLIDE

America Through the Eyes of Its Drivers
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Berger--who's actually two brothers, journalist Kevin Berger and psychotherapist Todd Berger (coauthors, Zen Driving, 1988-- not reviewed)--explores the ways that Americans relate to their beloved automobiles. Berger starts by noting that the automobile--along with roads (in the US, some 40 yards of highway per vehicle) and myriad other support systems--has become a major component of the human environment, for good and ill. But as the title of the first chapter here, ``Save the Car,'' indicates, the glory days of the personal car may be in the past, finished by pollution, dwindling oil supplies, and congestion. To discern the complex natural history of the car/driver symbiosis, Berger traveled the country on a ``Great American Driving Survey.'' A good deal of the trip was spent interviewing people (from street racers to traffic cops to suburbanites) about their driving habits, their feelings about their cars, and the impact of cars on their lives. In between, Berger visited various experts (from all levels of government as well from as the auto industry), looked at ads, ate fast food, and rode not only on public roads but on public transit. As might be expected from the author of a book entitled Zen Driving, Berger arrives at a holistic solution to the problem of the auto's future--one including not just legislation, zoning regulations, transportation policy, and highway design but also a growing ecological awareness and a reversal of the trend toward the kind of individuality that casts the auto as personal transportation. The author foresees--perhaps too optimistically-- a society in which the car, that great expander of human horizons, retains a place in a fully integrated ecosystem. Full of fascinating detail--especially in some of the interviews--and smoothly written.

Pub Date: July 22nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-8050-1488-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993