Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay

By Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi
Fernwood Books
Buy Now!
In North America, human beings have become enthralled by the automobile: A quarter of our working lives are spent paying for them; communities fight each other for the right to build more of them; our cities have been torn down, remade and planned with their needs as the overriding concern; wars are fought to keep their fuel tanks filled; songs are written to praise them; cathedrals are built to worship them.

In Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay, authors Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi argue that the automobile’s ascendance is inextricably linked to capitalism and involved corporate malfeasance, political intrigue, backroom payoffs, media manipulation, racism, academic corruption, third world coups, secret armies, environmental destruction and war. When we challenge the domination of cars, we also challenge capitalism. An anti-car, road-trip story, Stop Signs is a unique must-read for all those who wish to escape the clutches of auto insanity.

“Bianca Mugyenyi and Yves Engler’s Stop Signs is at one and the same time an entertaining, fact-filled anthropological tour of the land of Homo Automomotivis, and the first all-out global ecological critique of the American automobile addiction.”- John Bellamy Foster, co-author, The Ecological Rift

“With wit and originality, Mugyenyi and Engler weave travel tales into a convincing argument against the auto economy, culminating with a fresh call to leave car culture behind.”-Katie Alvord, author of Divorce Your Car! Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile

“This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the impact of the private automobile on our urban transportation options.”- David Cadman, Vancouver city councilor, International President ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability

”You come away shaken, but ready to roll up your sleeves and to contribute, however modestly, to constructing a new world in the 21st century.”- Richard Bergeron, Montreal city councilor, urban planner and author

Freedom from Cars or Freedom for Cars — Ft. Lauderdale • Driven Round the Bend — St. Louis • Vehicular Homicide — Chicago • Vroom, Vroom, Cough, Cough — El Paso • Cars Make You Fat — San Antonio • Good-bye, Downtown — Mobile • Billboards — Everywhere • Parking Is a Losing Game — Atlantic City • People Are Obstacles to Progress — Atlanta • Auto-Eroticism — Miami • The State Religion — Salt Lake City • Behind the Wheel It’s Me, Myself and I— Portland • Fueling the Fire — Baton Rouge • Driving Global Warming — New Orleans • An Insatiable Thirst for Land — Phoenix • Tankers,Transit and Terror — New York • Inefficiency Pays — Flagstaff • An Industry’s Power • If You Take on the Car, you Take on Its Friends • Self-Interest, Bullying and a Willingness to Break the Law • If You Can’t Find a Market, Create One • Control the Message • Teach Your Children Well • Senator, I’d Like to Take You for a Ride • Public Subsidies for Private Gain • Spinning the Keynesian Wheel • Conclusion — Capitalism and Cars Will Drive Us to Extinction • Bibliography

About the Authors
Former Vice President of the Concordia Student Union, Yves Engler is a Montréal activist and author. He has published three books: The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy; Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical; and (with Anthony Fenton) Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority.

”Yves became a foreign-policy expert by working as a night doorman in Montreal...He’s in the mould of I. F. Stone, who wasted no time with politicians, who all have an agenda, but went instead straight to the public record.”- Rick Salutin, Globe and Mail

Bianca Mugyenyi was born in Uganda in 1980 and came to Canada as a child. Mugyenyi spent parts of her youth in Swaziland, Kenya and England. She is coordinator of Concordia’s Gender Advocacy Centre and was the Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students (Quebec).

1 comment:

  1. A quarter of our lifetime is spent paying for our cars? It would be interesting to see that in perspective with our home and food -- given the GMO'd and other crap we eat, I'm assuming we unfortunately spend more on cars.