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Propaganda and American Democracy
Exporting Security
The Politics of Trafficking
Stones of Contention
A Wobbly Life
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Santa Cruz Island
Clio's Battles
An Unnatural Metropolis
Murder in Dealey Plaza

Mass Motorization and Mass TransitMass Motorization and Mass Transit

An American History and Policy Analysis

David W. Jones

Narrated by Emil Nicholas Gallina

Available from Audible

Book published by Indiana University Press

Mass Motorization and Mass Transit examines how the United States became the world's most thoroughly motorized nation and why mass transit has been more displaced in the United States than in any other advanced industrial nation. The book's historical and international perspective provides a uniquely effective framework for understanding both the intensity of U.S. motorization and the difficulties the country will face in moderating its demands on the world's oil supply and reducing the CO2 emissions generated by motor vehicles. No other book offers as comprehensive a history of mass transit, mass motorization, highway development, and suburbanization or provides as penetrating an analysis of the historical differences between motorization in the United States and that of other advanced industrial nations.

David W. Jones is a historian and policy analyst who has taught at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he served as research manager at the Institute for Transportation Studies. Jones has been a staff consultant to regional transportation planning agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.


“Jones documents well the politics of postwar efforts by big city mayors to obtain federal aid for rail systems.... He provides good evidence for transit's very limited potential to solve the pressing problems of congestion, energy use, and global warming.... Highly recommended.”


“In this sweeping history of urban transportation modernization and post-modernization in the United States, David Jones debunks popular explanations for the decline of mass transit and the rise of mass motorization.... offers a solid foundation for debating alternative theses that seek to account for technological change.”

Technology and Culture

“This is a valuable and topical book which brings transport issues to the fore in American domestic and foreign policy.”

Journal of American Studies

“Jones ultimately attributes mass motorization to consumer preferences—for single-family home ownership, suburban living, and sun belt metropolises where low-density development and dispersed employment made automobiles essential.”

Journal of American History

“David Jones does a great job of dispelling myths that many of us hold about the advent of the automobile and the decline of public transit in the United States.”


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