Soon after the first automobiles were introduced in the United States, auto racing became a reality. Since that time, motorsports have expanded to include drag racing, open wheel racing, rallying, demolition derbies, stock car racing, and more. Motorsports have grown to such an extent that NASCAR is now the second most watched professional sport in America, behind only football. But motorsports are about much more than going fast and finishing first. These events also reflect our culture, our society, our values, and our history.
In Motorsports and American Culture: From Demolition Derbies to NASCAR, Mark D. Howell and John D. Miller bring together essays that examine the relevancy of motorsports to American culture and history, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Addressing a wide spectrum of motorsportssuch as stock car racing, demolition derbies, land speed record pursuits, and even staged train wrecksthe essays highlight the social and cultural implications of contemporary and historical moments in these sports. Topics covered include gender roles in motorsports, hot rods and the creation of fan and participant identities, the appeal of demolition derbies, the globalization of motorsports, the role of moonshine in stock car history, the economic relationship between NASCAR and its corporate sponsors, and more.
Offering the most thorough study of motorsports to date from a diverse pool of disciplines and subjects, Motorsports and American Culture will appeal to motorsports and automobile enthusiasts, as well as those interested in American history, popular culture, sports history, and gender studies.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Mark D. Howell is professor of communications at Northwestern Michigan College. He is an internationally-recognized automobile historian and motorsports scholar. His numerous publications include the book From Moonshine to Madison Avenue: A Cultural History of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and his “Professor of Speed” columns are regularly posted on Frontstretch.com, an award-winning automobile racing web site.
John D. Miller is assistant professor of literature and cultural studies at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. A former freelance motorsports writer, his recent scholarly publications include essays on Southern literature and popular culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Mark D. Howell and John D. Miller
Speed and Spectators: What Motor Sports Means to Fans
Chapter 1: “The NASCAR Paradox,” James Wright
Chapter 2: “Automobile Racing and the American Hot Rod,” David N. Lucsko
Chapter 3: “Speed and Destruction at the Fair,” Emily Godbey
The Track and Beyond: Motor Sports and Community Identity
Chapter 4: “Creative Destruction: The Demolition Derby,” Susan Falls
Chapter 5: “’What Is Your Racket, Brother?’: Bootleggers, Respectable Atlanta, Bill France, and the Birth of NASCAR,” Dan Pierce
Chapter 6: “’Running with the Big Dogs’: the Rhetoric of Fan Identity in a Postmodern NASCAR,” Ehren Pflugfelder
Fenders and Genders: Motor Sports, Femininity, and Masculinity
Chapter 7: “Just a Good ‘Ol Gal: Pioneer Racer Louise Smith,” Suzanne Wise, Martha Kreszock, and Margaret Freeman
Chapter 8: “’Anything but a Novelty’: Women, Girls, and Friday Night Drag Racing,” John Mason
Chapter 9: “’Way Tight’ or ‘Wicked Loose’?: Reading NASCAR's Masculinities,” Patricia Lee Yongue
Stars of the Road: Spectacular Drivers and Spectacular Feats
Chapter 10: “The Spectacle of NASCAR: Rationalized and Enchanted by Sponsors,” Jaime Noble Gassmann
Chapter 11: “Barney Oldfield: Daredevil Demon of Speed and the First Multimedia Superstar,” Lisa Napoli
Chapter 12: “The Fastest Cars in the World,” Ronald Shook
About the Editors
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