from Wisconsin Public Radio
Remember those great cars from the Fifties? The Redscare Phantom Witchhunter and the Bongo Beatnik Ferlinghetti TurboHipster? If you don't recall them rolling off Detroit's assembly lines, there's a perfectly good reason. They never existed, except in the imagination of writer and illustrator Bruce McCall. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge some of the cars that Detroit forgot to build. And Henry Ford's anti-semitism.
Environmental writer Bill McKibben tells Anne Strainchamps that his new Honda Civic electric hybrid car gets over fifty miles to the gallon and is just as comfortable and convenient as his old Civic. He says there no excuse any more for not driving a "green" car and he's furious that the government hasn't done more to lessen our dependence on oil. Also, we hear one of the songs from "Rambler 65," the album musician Ben Vaughn recorded in his car, a 65 Rambler American. And, writer and illustrator Bruce McCall talks with Steve Paulson about why he hated the 1950s, and some of the fantasy cars he thinks the decade might have inspired. McCall's latest book is "The Last Dream-O-Rama: The Cars Detroit Forgot to Build."
Mikita Brottman is the editor of and a contributor to the book of essays, "Car Crash Culture." She tells Anne Strainchamps about her own accident, the legends that grow up around celebrity car crashes, and the odd thrill we get from road wrecks. And we hear a clip from a driver's-ed scare film. Also, Neil Baldwin is the author of "Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate." He tells Jim Fleming that Henry Ford was a virulent anti-Semite who bought a newspaper to publish his Jewish conspiracy propaganda. Adolf Hitler was one of his biggest fans.
Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-07-14-A.
Eddy Joe Cotton has been riding the rails for almost a decade. He's the author of "Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America." He tells Steve Paulson that the a hobo spends most of his life waiting for one of three things: a bottle, love and the next freight. He says the hardships of life on the road are matched by the allure of the freedom.
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