With Good Reason

Auto Biography
August 3rd, 2013

57 Chevy

The lives of thirteen people are featured in a new book–but the real star is a 1957 Chevrolet Townsman wagon.  Auto Biography, tells the true story of the car and its many owners.  Author Earl Swift is a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.  Also featured: “Bath salts” used to conjure up an image of a relaxing day at the spa.  But lately, the terms carries a whole new connotation.  Poison center director Rutherfoord Rose (Virginia Commonwealth University) says the new synthetic drug induces strange and violent behaviors.  And: The blue dye of the modern rape kit doesn’t work on women with dark skin.  Kathryn Laughon (University of Virginia) is researching a new dye that will work on all skin tones.  Plus: The last decade has seen an increase in the rate of college women who engage in high-risk drinking, especially when they drink at fraternity parties.  Jill Russett (Christopher Newport University) is studied the trend.  Also featured: Much has been written about the way our culture raises girls.  But what about boys?  Popular books such as Raising Cain and The War on Boys suggest they are either weakened by feminism or stifled by hyper-masculine ideals about what men should be.  Matt Pricket (Longwood University) says neither extreme tells the whole story.

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More so than most of the things we buy, a car says something about who we are and the world we live in.  A forthcoming book reveals those automotive stories by tracing the thirteen owners of a classic car from 1957 to today.