Taking The Wheel: Women And The Coming Of The Motor Age

Taking The Wheel: Women And The Coming Of The Motor Age

Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age

Though millions of women drive regularly, the image of the flighty woman driver continues to stigmatize their abilities. Scharff travels back in time to explore how the first automobiles collided with cultural and sexual notions of feminine nature and how women have influenced the car industry as a whole.

From Library Journal
This history of the automobile during its first decade focuses on how the arrival of the horseless carriage challenged Victorian attitudes towards women, changing their lives forever. Women were not long content to consider cars as men's machines, and they played a decisive role in effecting improvements in appearance, comfort, and safety. Throughout the book, Scharff documents the general resistance of men to women behind the wheel which, though muted, still persists today as evidenced by patronizing attitudes toward "women drivers." There are some interesting tidbits here, and the author has provided copious notes, but this book scarcely qualifies as significant social history. Furthermore, its intended audience is unclear. Not a necessary purchase.
- Anne Twitchell, EPA Headquarters Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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