Over and above the reasons or the wrongs of the apologists and the critics of globalisation, it seems impossible to deny the development, during these last few decades, of a global network of social connections and functional interdependences that link individuals and nations – no one is excluded. As Tony Spybey and Roland Robertson remind us, even the deepest meanings of existence, the most intimate of personal experiences and daily behaviour are involved in this radical change of cognitive and symbolic reference points: the world as a whole.1 The globalised world is the result of a series of compressions and integrations that have reduced the so-called ‘empty gaps’ in the material of human relations. As Joseph Stiglitz emphasized, the thing that has favoured the process of global compression-integration is the impressive reduction of the time and cost of transport and communication, and the demolition of artificial barriers to the international circulation of goods, services, capital, knowledge, and – even if still strongly obstructed – of people and labour.
James J. Flink “has clearly established himself as the leading authority on the history of the automobile and has written a major work that will repay careful study by all scholars interested in the 20th century,” wrote cultural historian Joseph J. Corn in 1989 in a review of The Automobile Age. Corn did not write “transportation scholars” but “all scholars,” and was alluding to Flink’s approach to periodizing history around progressive technological change rather than around political administrations or wars. Corn continued, “[Flink] views the car, or more accurately automobility, as being a major protagonist in the historical dramas of the period,” quoting passages that pinned the Great Depression on the saturation of the automobile market and attributed the allies’ triumph in the Second World War to superior mass-production capability stemming from the American automobile industry. Corn also observed, “Flink significantly demolished the myth, repeated by too many historians, that the American experience with automobiles has been exceptional .... Moreover, he concludes, the ‘appeals of the car were universal, not culturally determined’ (pp. 28–29).” Flink published at least two more important articles and was writing his fourth book on the automobile when he retired from his professorship in Comparative Culture at the University of California at Irvine in 1994. Since then, he eschewed academic and professional activity, despite numerous entreaties. However, when I, a former student of Flink’s and now a transportation planning professor, asked him to reflect on his influential career, Flink welcomed the opportunity. I traveled to Professor Flink’s southern California home in March 2012 for the interview, which took place on March 2.2
T. J. Lustig, Anna Tripp, George Wotton, Brenda McKay, Mary Joannou, Nilli Diengott, Helen Boak, David C. Green, Sue Dymoke, Matt Simpson, Adam Rounce, Loraine Fletcher, Shorsha Sullivan and Andy Croft
Russell Reising, Loose Ends: Closure and Crisis in the American Social Text (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1996), £52.50 cloth, £16.95 paperback, ISBN 0-8223-1891-1.
Linda Simon, Gertrude Stein Remembered (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, 1994; UK Publication date: October 1997), £13.95, ISBN 0-8032-9248-1 (PB).
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Alison Byerly, Realism, Representation, and the Arts in Nineteenth- Century Literature, Cambridge, New York and Oxford: Cambridge University Press, 1997, £35 hardback, ISBN 05-21-581168.
Jenny Hartley, Millions Like Us: British Women’s Fiction of the Second World War, London: Virago, 1997, £14.99 paperback, ISBN 1-86049-080-8.
Gill Plain, Women’s Fiction of the Second World War: Gender, Power and Resistance, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996, £14.99 paperback, ISBN 0 7486 0661 0.
Joseph Carroll, Evolution and Literary Theory, University of Missouri Press, 1995, ISBN 0 8262 0979 3.
Dagmar C.G. Lorenz, Keepers of the Motherland, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1997, pp. xxii + 402, £52.50, ISBN 0-8032-2917-8.
Howard Barker: Arguments For A Theatre (Third Edition), ISBN 0-7190-5249-1, paperback.
Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, On the Edge of an Island, 1997, Bloodaxe, ISBN: 1-85224-405-4.
Gillian Ferguson, Air for Sleeping Fish, 1997, Bloodaxe, ISBN:1-85224-416-X.
Katie Donovan, Entering the Mare, 1997, Bloodaxe, ISBN:1-85224-429-1.
John Kinsella, The Hunt & Other Poems, Bloodaxe Books, £7.95, ISBN 1-85224-441-0
David Duncombe, Pencilling In, Redbeck Press, 1997, £3.95, ISBN 0-946980-42-X.
Hugh Dunkerley, Walking to the Fire Tower Redbeck Press, 1997, £3.95, ISBN 0-946980-44-6, £3.95.
Martin Edwards, Coconut Heart Redbeck Press, 1997, £3.95, ISBN 0-946980-45-4, £3.95
Anne Rouse, Timing, Bloodaxe Books, 1997
Ruth Fainlight, Sugar Paper Blue, Bloodaxe Books, 1997
Jane Holland, The Brief History of a Disreputable Woman, Bloodaxe Books, 1997
Philip Ramp, Jonz, Translated by Lydia Stephanou, Athens, 1997, Bilingual Edition.
Glyn Wright, Shindig, Bloodaxe, £6.95, ISBN 1-85224-409-7.