On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control
An extremely funny and irreverent joy-ride through driving, class, politics and the absurdities of modern life
Speed, risk, freedom… Driving is one of the last remaining activities available day-to-day in which we get the chance to take control of our destiny, feel that intense and primal connection between movement and sheer joy, and experience a whiff of actual danger – the kind of faith in the unknown that makes us feel alive. But driving has become increasingly boring in recent years. The design of cars, bikes, roads and regulations – and the now apparently inevitable arrival of driverless cars – all threaten to eliminate this vital pleasure from our lives.
In this brilliantly funny and keenly perceptive book, the mechanic, philosopher and renowned author of The Case for Working with Your Hands investigates why it is that we love driving, what exactly it is that is being lost, and speaks up for an activity that gives many of us great enjoyment, though we may rarely pause to consider why. As well as drawing on his own experiences as a car and motorcycle enthusiast, Crawford reports from some of the more extraordinary motoring subcultures – from LA Biker gangs and life-risking desert-rallies to long-haul truckers and demolition derbies. This last he enters with a rental car equipped with automated collision avoidance and sees how it fares (after opting for full coverage, of course).
Witty and ingenious throughout, we see not just why we drive, but what driving tells us about ourselves – both good and bad – while offering an inspiring vision of driving’s urgent and distinctive allure.