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Thinking small: the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen Beetle

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Sometimes achieving big things requires the ability to think small. This simple concept was the driving force that propelled the Volkswagen Beetle to become an avatar of American-style freedom, a household brand, and a global icon. The VW Bug inspired the ad men of Madison Avenue, beguiled Woodstock Nation, and has recently been re-imagined for the hipster generation. And while today it is surely one of the most recognizable cars in the world, few of us know the compelling details of this car’s story. In Thinking Small, journalist and cultural historian Andrea Hiott retraces the improbable journey of this little car that changed the world.
 
Andrea Hiott’s wide-ranging narrative stretches from the factory floors of Weimar Germany to the executive suites of today’s automotive innovators, showing how a succession of artists and engineers shepherded the Beetle to market through periods of privation and war, reconstruction and recovery. Henry Ford’s Model T may have revolutionized the American auto industry, but for years Europe remained a place where only the elite drove cars. That all changed with the advent of the Volkswagen, the product of a Nazi initiative to bring driving to the masses. But Hitler’s concept of “the people’s car” would soon take on new meaning. As Germany rebuilt from the rubble of World War II, a whole generation succumbed to the charms of the world’s most huggable automobile.
 
Indeed, the story of the Volkswagen is a story about people, and Hiott introduces us to the men who believed in it, built it, and sold it: Ferdinand Porsche, the visionary Austrian automobile designer whose futuristic dream of an affordable family vehicle was fatally compromised by his patron Adolf Hitler’s monomaniacal drive toward war; Heinrich Nordhoff, the forward-thinking German industrialist whose management innovations made mass production of the Beetle a reality; and Bill Bernbach, the Jewish American advertising executive whose team of Madison Avenue mavericks dreamed up the legendary ad campaign that transformed the quintessential German compact into an outsize worldwide phenomenon.
 
Thinking Small is the remarkable story of an automobile and an idea. Hatched in an age of darkness, the Beetle emerged into the light of a new era as a symbol of individuality and personal mobility—a triumph not of the will but of the imagination.
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ISBN:
9780345521422
9780345521446
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDa97fb3fc-5b38-0dcb-a003-f2018279f4b9
Grouping Titlethinking small the long strange trip of the volkswagen beetle
Grouping Authorandrea hiott
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2022-10-02 03:18:56AM
Last Indexed2022-10-02 03:53:30AM

Solr Fields

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Hiott, Andrea
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display_description
Sometimes achieving big things requires the ability to think small. This simple concept was the driving force that propelled the Volkswagen Beetle to become an avatar of American-style freedom, a household brand, and a global icon. The VW Bug inspired the ad men of Madison Avenue, beguiled Woodstock Nation, and has recently been re-imagined for the hipster generation. And while today it is surely one of the most recognizable cars in the world, few of us know the compelling details of this car’s story. In Thinking Small, journalist and cultural historian Andrea Hiott retraces the improbable journey of this little car that changed the world.
 
Andrea Hiott’s wide-ranging narrative stretches from the factory floors of Weimar Germany to the executive suites of today’s automotive innovators, showing how a succession of artists and engineers shepherded the Beetle to market through periods of privation and war, reconstruction and recovery. Henry Ford’s Model T may have revolutionized the American auto industry, but for years Europe remained a place where only the elite drove cars. That all changed with the advent of the Volkswagen, the product of a Nazi initiative to bring driving to the masses. But Hitler’s concept of “the people’s car” would soon take on new meaning. As Germany rebuilt from the rubble of World War II, a whole generation succumbed to the charms of the world’s most huggable automobile.
 
Indeed, the story of the Volkswagen is a story about people, and Hiott introduces us to the men who believed in it, built it, and sold it: Ferdinand Porsche, the visionary Austrian automobile designer whose futuristic dream of an affordable family vehicle was fatally compromised by his patron Adolf Hitler’s monomaniacal drive toward war; Heinrich Nordhoff, the forward-thinking German industrialist whose management innovations made mass production of the Beetle a reality; and Bill Bernbach, the Jewish American advertising executive whose team of Madison Avenue mavericks dreamed up the legendary ad campaign that transformed the quintessential German compact into an outsize worldwide phenomenon.
 
Thinking Small is the remarkable story of an automobile and an idea. Hatched in an age of darkness, the Beetle emerged into the light of a new era as a symbol of individuality and personal mobility—a triumph not of the will but of the imagination.
format_catalog
Book
eBook
format_category_catalog
Books
eBook
id
a97fb3fc-5b38-0dcb-a003-f2018279f4b9
isbn
9780345521422
9780345521446
itype_catalog
Adult Book Non-Fiction
last_indexed
2022-10-02T10:53:30.548Z
lexile_score
-1
literary_form
Non Fiction
literary_form_full
Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog
629.2222 V921zh2 2012
owning_library_catalog
Sacramento Public Library
owning_location_catalog
Arcade
Central
Galt
primary_isbn
9780345521422
publishDate
2012
publisher
Ballantine Books
Random House Publishing Group
recordtype
grouped_work
subject_facet
Volkswagen Beetle automobile -- History
title_display
Thinking small : the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen Beetle
title_full
Thinking Small The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle
Thinking small : the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen Beetle / Andrea Hiott
title_short
Thinking small
title_sub
the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen Beetle
topic_facet
Business
History
Nonfiction
Transportation
Volkswagen Beetle automobile

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