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The Car


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About the Author

Bryan Appleyard was educated at Bolton School and King's College, Cambridge. He was Financial News Editor and Deputy Arts Editor at The Times until 1984. He has subsequently written for many publications including the Sunday Times, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Spectator and the New Statesman. He has been Feature Writer of the Year three times at the British Press Awards and Interviewer of the Year once. In the 2019 Birthday Honours list he was appointed Commander of the British Empire for services to the arts and journalism.


The car has totally changed our society. Bryan Appleyard is just the writer to get to the heart of this phenomenon. * Melvyn Bragg *
As cars undergo their latest electro-smart evolution, Bryan Appleyard's extraordinary cultural history of them explains how they changed our everyday experience. This is a brilliantly written and thoughtful account of the machines which made our lives recognisably modern. * Michael Burleigh *
An entertaining and superbly researched story about the industrial age's most astonishing and enchanting creation. * Gavin Green, Car Magazine *
Very few people could do justice to this extraordinary story - and with this book Bryan Appleyard sets the bar impossibly high for anyone else. * Rory Sutherland *
An exhilarating spin through the history of the machine that transformed our culture from its earliest incarnation to its imminent demise. * Saga Magazine *
The prose is sharp, well organised and well researched. * Country Life *
Bryan Appleyard is well known to readers as a thoughtful interpreter of our frets and anxieties... a thinking man's Clarkson. * Spectator *
This engaging history of the motor car is full of rich anecdotes and detail. * Sunday Times *
This fond look at the history, development and significance of the automobile is supercharged by wonderful writing... As sharply as he draws portraits of the key players, Appleyard, one of the liveliest minds in journalism, is at his most acute when musing on the cultural effects of the car. * Observer *
Appleyard, an unashamed petrol-head, rightly celebrates the pleasures of driving and the freedoms that the automobile has brought us... immensely readable. -- Nick Rennison * Daily Mail *
[Audio edition review] An enjoyable ride through the history of the automobile ... This is a romp of a book. After a provocative introduction on the social significance of the automobile, Bryan Appleyard takes us through a motorcade of inventors ... John Sackville has one of the most taking voices in the audio industry, sounding enthusiastic and endlessly interested in a way that makes it impossible not to keep listening. -- Christina Hardyment * THE TIMES *
Appleyard draws upon a vast knowledge of science, mechanics and cultural lore as he successfully supports his thesis that the car didn't merely influence the modern world - it created it. -- Jonathan Kellerman * The New York Times *
An encyclopedic retrospective of how the car came to be, how it has evolved over the past century and how, as the subtitle suggests, it has shaped the world we live in. -- Mark Yost * The Wall Street Journal *

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