Shifting Gears


It’s no secret that we Americans have spent the past half-century building our communities and our lives around the car, which gives us the freedom to go anywhere we want, whenever we want. Cars give us other things too: the safety and room to spread out in the suburbs; the social status signaled by the kind of car, truck, or SUV we drive. These advantages and aspirations have given rise to the car-dominated American landscape we see around us today.


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About the Author

David Carroll Cochran is professor of politics and director of the Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.