Divorce Your Car! : Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile

Alvord's perceptive gloss of the late, great, 20th century's pitiful auto intoxication is a fascinating read and a stunning contradiction of the fatuity that technology is neutral. Her gathering of stories illuminates the existence of a vital planet-wide, counter-car-culture. Witty, substantial and penetrating, Divorce Your Car! is a mighty persuasive job of work.?Stephanie Mills, from the Foreword

Our romance with cars, begun with enthusiasm more than 100 years ago, has in fact become a very troubled entanglement. Today's relationship with the automobile inflicts upon us pollution, noise, congestion, sprawl, big expenses, injury, and even death. Yet we continue to live with cars at a growing cost to ourselves and the environment.
What can people do about this souring affair? Divorce your car! Re-meet your feet, board a bike, take a train, pull out of this dysfunctional relationship with the automobile! Divorcing your car can take many forms, from simply using it less to not owning one at all. This practical guide shows how divorcing a car can be fun, healthy, money-saving, and helpful to the planet in the process.
Most other transportation reform books emphasize long-range political and economic policy. Divorce Your Car! speaks less about policy and more about realistic actions that individuals can take now to reduce their car-dependence. It encourages readers to change their own driving behavior without waiting for broader social change, stressing that individual action can drive social change.
Car-dependency is a serious problem, but Divorce Your Car! is leavened with love-affair and self-help analogies in the text as well as cartoon illustrations. From commuters crazed by congestion and soccer moms sick of chauffeuring, to environmentalists looking for auto alternatives?Divorce Your Car! provides all the reasons not to drive and the many alternative ways we can all get around without our cars.

Table of Contents

1: Falling Head Over Wheels: The Advent of Cars
2: Other Suitors Drop by the Wayside: The Decline of Non-Car Transport
3: The Possessive Auto Takes Over the Lands

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By John (Hyattsville, MD) · ★★★★☆ · December 14, 2008
I learned a lot from this book concerning our dependence on automobiles and the issues that are raised by their frequent usage. Whether it's the environment, social issues caused by the nature of a car, or the money it costs all of us outside of purchasing cars this book covers it all. I decided... ...more
By Carl (Seattle, WA) · ★★★★★ · January 13, 2013
Pg 11: The very first American killed by a car was H.H. Bliss in 1899. Talk about family connections. Henry Hale Bliss was a relative of both Dean Petersen and Jean Daley, about 6th cousins, 3 times removed. I found him in one of our family history books. He was hit getting off a bus in NY City a... ...more
By JFKW (Cambridge, MA) · ★★★★☆ · February 14, 2008
First, a complaint. I didn't like the chapter about working from home. I don't want to go to work in slippers. That sounds terrible. The mixture of "office" work and home disgusts me. Also, did a whole chapter have to be dedicated to this? Isn't it enough to say, "Hey, work from home"?

Overall, a... ...more
By Zinta · ★★★★★ · December 19, 2011
If you can find a copy, get this book. Published in 2000, copies are becoming limited, yet the book has never been more relevant than today (Note to publishers: second printing, please!). Approaching this book as someone who is very concerned about the mess we are making of our environment, yet b... ...more
By Kathryn (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · August 02, 2008
I'm re-reading this one. The first time I read it, I rushed through, looking for ways to be car-free. This time, I'm looking for ways to help explain my decision to live without a car with others (who often look at me as though I've lost an ear when I say I've taken the bus or my bike).

This book... ...more
By Sarah (Rochester, MI) · ★★★★☆ · January 12, 2012
Very thought-provoking. I've spent most of my life assuming cars were a part of being middle class, period. But now I question that. There are many financial and quality of life reasons to reconsider having only one way to travel.

Some parts of this book were really dry, and in retrospect, I could... ...more
By Marshall (Sunnyvale, CA) · ★★★★☆ · March 24, 2009
This eye-opening book speaks of our relationship with the automobile as analogous to an unhealthy marriage that we must end in order to make our lives and societies better. The history of the automobile is fascinating, and the author makes a strong case for minimizing our car use. It shows that i... ...more
By Brian (Vienna, VA) · ★★★☆☆ · June 02, 2008
Not much to say about this that I didn't already say about How to Live Well Without Owning a Car. But, while I found that a quick breezy read, this was much more dense, meticulously researched and footnoted. Unfortunately for me, it worked against my interest level, so I ended up skimming a bit o... ...more
By Deb (Readerbuzz) (775113342) · ★★★★☆ · July 25, 2009
Ways to eliminate or cut down on the use of your car
Favorite Quote: "...not driving simplified my life....I immediately noticed that I had cut my expenses and was saving money. I got more exercise, my health improved, and I dropped a few pounds without watching what I ate. My stress level went d... ...more
By Bob (Hammond, IN) · ★★★☆☆ · May 28, 2011
Great advice and inspiration for those who want to become "carfree" or "carlite". ...more