10 New Automotive History Books That Make Great Holiday Gifts
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Whether you need the perfect gift book for the gearhead history buff in your life or a new read for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. These 10 recently published titles have two things in common — each book dives deep into a fascinating automotive history topic, and each one is an entertaining, informative read that won’t be easy to put down.
Product Details: 384 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Publisher: Custom House
The Apollo 11 moon landing gets all the attention, but later Apollo missions broke new ground, too. In Across the Airless Wilds, Ear Swift tells the thrilling story of how astronauts explored the moon’s surface behind the wheel of NASA’s ingenious lunar rover vehicle.
Product Details: 176 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: Sept. 15, 2021
Publisher: Reedy Press
How did the Motor City turn into the bustling, innovative center of the American automotive industry? This detailed — and heavily illustrated — book traces Detroit’s rise, fall, and future potential, combining a detailed historical timeline with stories about the key personalities and forces that shaped the city.
Product Details: 272 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: Aug. 17, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Starting with the invention of the wheel, A Brief History of Motion takes readers on a whirlwind multi-millennia tour through humanity’s advances in transportation — and how those developments have changed the world for good and for ill.
Product Details: 240 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books
Like most sports in the United States, auto racing was once strictly segregated by race. This book tells the dramatic true story of Rajo Jack, a Black man who fought his way into the world of California outlaw racing in the 1930s and played a key role in integrating the sport.
The History of Speed: The Quest to Go Faster, from the Dawn of the Motor Car to the Speed of Sound by Martin Roach
Product Details: 256 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: Sept. 10, 2021
Publisher: Firefly Books
Boasting hundreds of photos and exciting stories of innovation and obsession, Martin Roach’s book takes a deep dive into humanity’s quest to make automobiles go ever faster and faster — and the inventors, engineers, and daredevils who’ve made those speeds possible.
Product Details: 320 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Publisher: House of Anansi Press
The 1960s pop charts presented California as a world of hot rods, surfing, and beautiful young people on the beach — but what was the reality? This fascinating book looks at the flawed and often tragic personalities behind “Surf City,” “Fun Fun Fun,” and the era’s many other teenage dreams.
Product Details: 432 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: May 30, 2021
Publisher: Octane Press
In 1996, the IndyCar racing world exploded in controversy and separated into two rival leagues: CART and the Indy Racing League. In Indy Split, racing journalist John Oreovicz tells the dramatic story of how the two sides broke apart, how they eventually came together again, and how this series of events forever changed auto racing.
Midnight in Vehicle City: General Motors, Flint, and the Strike That Created the Middle Class by Edward McClelland
Product Details: 232 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: Feb. 2, 2021
Publisher: Beacon Press
America’s once-booming middle class didn’t just happen — it was created in large part by union upheavals like the one that rocked General Motors in 1936 and 1937. Midnight in Vehicle City tells the tale of this resounding victory for labor and explores its resonance in today’s world of declining prosperity and weakened unions.
The MotoLady’s Book of Women Who Ride: Motorcycle Heroes, Trailblazers and Record-Breakers by Alicia Mariah Elfving
Product Details: 184 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Motorcycle racing fans will appreciate this book about the sport’s most inspirational women. From historic pioneers to present-day enthusiasts, The MotoLady’s Book of Women Who Ride is packed with stories and photos that celebrate women’s contributions to cycle riding, design, activism, and much more.
Product Details: 400 pages (hardcover)
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Publisher: Belknap Press
Throughout history, Black Americans have fought intensely just to enjoy basic rights, and one of the key battlefields has been the world of transportation. This book traces how activists and ordinary people alike struck blows against segregation and discrimination, bravely pursuing their right to travel freely and equally across the country in buses, trains, cars, and planes.
A longtime editor/writer and recently transplanted Hoosier, Caleb Cook lives in Xenia, Ohio. His favorite activities are reading and listening to music, although he occasionally emerges from the heap of books and vinyl records in his basement to stand blinking in the sunlight. Once fully acclimated to the outside world again, he can be observed hanging out with his wife, attempting a new recipe in the kitchen, attending movies, walking the dog, or wandering into a local brewery to inquire about what’s on tap. See more articles by Caleb.