Book Recommendation: “Why We Drive” by Andy Singer


When I was in St. Paul last week, I got a copy of my cartoonist pal Andy Singer’s new book “Why We Drive.” Andy is a longtime transportation activist, and has thought about the effects of cars on society more than just about anybody.

The cover photo says it all: a mafia-connected attorney receiving a check from a transit company vice-prez as one of the trolley cars they were systematically destroying burns in the background. Even if you know some of the sleazy history of why the US paved itself over instead of investing in rail, Andy Singer’s cartoon-and-prose expose will give you new reasons to hate cars. Loss of public space, the limitations of alternative fuels, sprawl and the clueless voters it helps create – with every topic we see cars run over our future while out of control transit agencies funnel their income to more roads instead of a better system. Witty cartoons on our witless ways and soul-crushing before-and-after photos add to the fun. And yes, Andy provides some hints on how to find an exit from the planetary parking garage. A must-read.


  • Jym Dyer

    ≎ An excellent book. It really lays the story out, and the cartoons blend right in!

  • Alan Barta

    Labann’s been analyzing transportation for 2 decades. He points out that $1 trillion has been spent by feds in the last 10 years on road infrastructure. Most of it now needs a major overhaul. The average annual cost of car ownership is ~$7500, half of what you earn gross on minimum wage, not counting the drone economy effect on developing countries. Read these and a million other facts at

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.