Bug: The Strange Mutations Of The World's Most Famous Automobile

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Da Capo Press, Jun 2, 2004 - History - 272 pages
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"Herbie." "Punchbuggy." "Beetle." The world's most recognizable automobile goes by many noms de plume. But did you know that the "Love Bug" was originally conceived as Hitler's "car of the people," or that it was the Manson "family"'s car of choice?Tapping into Americans' continuing obsession with the VW Bug, Phil Patton has written a kaleidoscopic history of the car from the 1950s to the 2000s. He describes the genius marketing strategy used in America to rid the car of its Fascist associations (VW hired a Jewish marketing team), and explains why designers are obsessed with its shape (the Bug, like the Pantheon, fits the Greek "golden ellipse" ideal of dimension). Patton posits that the Bug was the first car to cause Americans to "wrap themselves in a brand as an extension of their ideology," and turn up their noses at the huge, showy cars produced in Detroit. Amazingly, it worked, and, based on the Beetle's continuing status as an American cultural icon, it still does. As Jonathan Yardley asserted in the Washington Post Book Review: "The original Bug was more than a car, it was an experience."
 

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BUG: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A peppy, perspicacious cultural history of the Volkswagen.It was the people's car: simple, durable, easy to repair, with a shape appealing to the child in all of us. It was also loaded with Hitler's ... Read full review

Bug: the strange mutations of the world's most famous automobile

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

It became an iconic shape on the roads, with quirky advertising that won many awards. It was a huge success, and then it was gone. Now the Volkswagen Beetle is back, and this new book attempts to ... Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
7
III
15
IV
31
V
39
VI
49
VII
67
VIII
79
XV
165
XVI
169
XVII
177
XVIII
185
XIX
203
XX
217
XXI
227
XXII
233

IX
91
X
107
XI
121
XII
133
XIII
141
XIV
149
XXIII
241
XXIV
245
XXV
247
XXVI
255
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About the author (2004)

Phil Patton writes regularly for the New York Times, has taught at the Columbia School of Journalism, and served as commentator for CBS News, the History Channel, and several public television series.

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