Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The 1961 Ford Falcon & Robert S. McNamara

It's a humble car, brought to you by Robert McNamara, the whiz kid who ran the Ford Motor Company for a couple years while the "compact" Falcon was in development. During WWII he'd done some impressive pre-computer number-crunching for the Air Force, on the effect of strategic bombing campaigns on the German war machine. McNamara, not a humble fellow, was a numbers and systems guy, not a car guy. He knew how to run the numbers, and always sounded like the smartest guy in the room. He intimidated people. He was Kennedy's Secretary of Defense, and stayed on in the Johnson cabinet. So he is one of the men responsible for the pointless and disastrous American war in Viet Nam.  Have you seen Fog of War?  It's a remarkable documentary. Thirty-five years after the fall of Saigon, McNamara admits that he never believed in the war; or never believed the US could "win". But the men in charge--'the best and brightest' after all-- didn't want to be seen as losers. Neither of course did LBJ. When he was at Ford's, McNamara alienated the engineers and execs by choosing to live in the college town of Ann Arbor, rather than the traditional executive 'burb of Grosse Pointe.
       That Dart in the background? Check this post.

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