The first book to tell the early history of cars in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles’s car culture has shaped the nation’s preferences in transportation, architecture, leisure, and even dining. The story of the automobile and that of Los Angeles have been entwined for more than a century. Driving Force: How Los Angeles Put People in Cars and Cars on the Road explores how the explosive growth of Los Angeles’s passion for automobiles was ignited by an unlikely, visionary mix of entrepreneurs and risk-takers. It owed its inception to the bicycle shop owners who began repairing and selling cars, carriage retailers, and automobile aficionados who ventured into unknown territory to sell a product regarded by nearly all banks and most businesses as a fad at best. These early adopters learned how to broaden the market for automobiles and convince the public that the car was no longer a luxury but a necessity.
Darryl Holter is the author of Workers and Unions in Wisconsin: A Labor History and The Battle for Coal: Miners and the Nationalization of Coal-Mining in France. He is a musician and singer-songwriter, a former labor leader, an urban developer, an adjunct professor of history at the University of Southern California, and a member of the Professional Musicians Union Local 47 in Los Angeles.
Stephen Gee is a writer and television producer based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles. Gee has worked on numerous award-winning television productions and has directed and produced live coverage of high-profile news stories, such as U.S. presidential elections, important court cases, Hollywood events, and disasters—including the 9/11 tragedy. A graduate of London’s City University, he began his career as a newspaper reporter in Norfolk, England.